According to C. G. Jung’s theory of psychological types, introduced in the 1920s, there are different attitudes people use to direct their energy. Two major types are described as extroversion and introversion.
You can take a simple personality test, the Myers-Briggs test for example, which traces the patterns in your behavior to one of 16 distinct personality types. It will provide a framework for understanding yourself and appreciating the differences in others.
As far as extroverts go, they tend to thrive off being around other people, they take pleasure in activities that involve large social gatherings and also tend to work well in groups. An extroverted person will often enjoy time spent with people and find less reward in time spent alone. Extroverts are energised when around other people, they radiate positive energy and are more prone to boredom when they are alone.
In comparison, introverts often take pleasure in solitary activities, such as reading, writing and using computers. They enjoy time spent by themselves and find less reward in time spent with large groups of people, though they may enjoy interactions with close friends. Trust is usually an issue of significance: a virtue of utmost importance to introverts is choosing a worthy companion. They are generally more analytical before speaking and are easily overwhelmed by too much stimulation from social gatherings and engagement.
Yet, in reality, each and every one of us spends a certain amount of time either extroverting or introverting. To be a good networker you definitely need to possess a bit of both.
Excellent ccommunication skills are crucial in networking and being a great listener, a true virtue of introverts, is the first step to becoming a great networker and passer of referrals.
The extroverted character is almost always comfortable walking into a room full of strangers and talking to a group right away. It is worth remembering that a good networker also has two ears and one mouth and should use them proportionally.
In ‘The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership’ author Lisa Petrilli notes that introverts represent from 25 to 49% of the population. She also recognises that introversion increases with intelligence; more than 75% of people with IQs above 160 are introverts.
For those of you who are introverted, networking is really not your favorite pastime, however, avoiding networking can be career-limiting, so use networking to do what you do best and build relationships, so here are a few tips to successful networking for introverts:
Network on your own terms: commit to networking, but in a way you find comfortable. Network one-on-one rather than in groups. Look to create valuable, deep relationships with a modest number of valued leaders, rather than compiling a long list of superficial relationships.
Create a comfortable environment for yourself: learn about the individual in advance and think through the ways you can help them and vice versa. Make sure you know where you are going and you are prepared ahead of the networking event.
Leverage your skills as an introvert: listening is probably one of your strengths; prepare some questions in advance that can get the conversation going. Use email and social media to get the conversation started in advance and keep it going after the meeting.
And a few tips for the extroverts:
Make others comfortable: as an extrovert initiate and carry on conversations with people in any situation. Extroverts are at ease with small talk and chitchat, become a connector and introduce people to each other.
Pay attention and honor others’ communication styles: it won’t be easy for you to do this, but networking is a win-win situation so you really need to butt off sometimes and listen to the conversation, rather than just being the centre of the conversation at all time.
Build long-lasting relationships: the problem for you extroverted individuals is the next stage, you are so busy and so want to get to talk to the next person, you could actually miss out on great opportunity. So follow through on your conversations, make a point to meet again or use social media to carry on the relationship you have just made.
Whether an introvert or an extrovert and wanting to learn more tips and tricks on how to network more successfully, join us for The Busy Queen Bee’s Networking Masterclass on Monday 22nd June at Grand Jersey, between 4.30pm and 8pm. The masterclass is designed to help participants develop confidence in their ability to connect with people, create a positioning statement, make a positive first and lasting impression and build a personal brand. Don’t miss out; book now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 07797 828950.