Good useful article in WSJ by Sue Shellenbarger successful networking, which is frequently a topic of conversation I see in Executive Coaching and Assessment. It’s full of good pointers and tips about the importance of networking and ways to do it better. I especially like the way it highlights the ways in which behavior and body language provide clues to the intrepid person that is trying to navigate a room with networking in mind.
Here are some thoughts about simple steps that you can take to be more effective in your networking opportunities:
Introverted people should set a simple goal of making one more social contact in a networking situation that they would do naturally. Push yourself just a bit more than your comfort zone and you will reap the benefits.
Confirmed Extroverts should make a concerted effort to listen for one extra minute (as opposed to talking) in each social interaction. Doing so will surprise you with the enhanced connection you make with the people that you meet.
For the people that find themselves in the middle of the intro-/extroversion scale – the people now being called Ambiverts – the key is to be mindful of what you most want to accomplish, and go for it! Make a plan for what you want to do in the room (e.g., meet more people you can talk to later? talk to fewer people that are especially relevant?) and remind yourself to avoid adapting to others’ needs/styles instead of going through with your plan.
Very few successful leaders network too much. A healthy majority probably network too little. Get out there!