I’m a self-confessed introvert. Things like socialising, networking, asking favours, selling myself, conferences, public speaking… are my worst nightmare. I went to a nice workshop today and learned some tips on how best to seize my fears by the throats, shove them down the toilet, and spread my wings.
I thought I’d share them with you.
1. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
If someone comes to you for help, wouldn’t you be happy to help them? I would be. So trust the principle that if you ask for help, they will respond because in future, they may come to you.
2. Don’t be intimidated.
Most people understand and appreciate networking. They will welcome your interest. Think of what you have to offer.
3. Be polite and clear.
A civil and polite inquiry that is straight to the point is more likely to be welcomed.
Create a list of those you want to talk to, find out what you know about them, ask what you want to know about them, learn from them. If you show interest, they will be interested in you too.
5. Maintain contact.
Never forget those who have helped you get there. Never take anyone who has contributed and helped you for granted. Maybe there’s something they need that you can help them with? Every contact is a potential jewel in your networking crown.
6. Don’t wait until you’re desperate.
Keep your relationships healthy, even if you don’t need them anymore.
Show you understand and appreciate others’ effort and contribution. It paves the way for future contact.
8. Pat your back.
If you’re like me and you’ve gone that far, that means you’ve stepped beyond your comfort zone. Well done. Pat your back and stop analysing how things could have run better, what you should or shouldn’t have said, what they might think of you… Stop. Just pat your back.
9. Open your eyes.
Opportunities are everywhere. Seize them.
These are supposed to be tips for networking to get a job, and yes I modified some a little, but I think they apply to anything, even social events (and yes, I dread those too). I hope you find these useful!