Relationships are vital in practically all settings, regardless of what kind of person you are. From business, to board gaming it all comes down to relationships. Family and friends are not only people you can spend time and have fun with; they can also give you the support you need in trying times.
When it comes to the business world, relationships can be the channel through which an individual can get access to new clients, gain more industry knowledge, and so much more.
With that said, we know that forming connections can be extremely tough to do when you are an introvert. Fortunately, we have got a few tips to help you network like a pro and also build confidence in the process.
1. Create a plan
While some people are gifted with the ability to converse with anyone from the get-go, some people need to do a bit of planning to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
If you are an introvert, a plan can help you greatly. This plan can revolve around the questions you are going to ask. While you can certainly have questions designed for the purpose of your networking, you can use other questions that focus more on the individual.
While these questions might not directly relate to your goal, many people like to talk about where they are from, what they do outside of work, and so on. From there, you can lead to the real questions, ensuring that you enjoy a smooth-flowing conversation where both parties are comfortable.
2. Don’t Panic!
Thank you Douglas Adams for this bit of networking advice. Perhaps your worst nightmare when talking with other people is by messing up during the conversation. However, it should not be something that you should panic over. Remember that an awkward moment can happen to anyone, whether it be a prolonged silence or accidentally talking about something else that’s unrelated. Being uncomfortable when talking to someone for the first time is normal, but know that the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
That said, it helps to be prepared for these kinds of moments. For example, you can create a list of questions to ask to fill an awkward silence or even learn how to deal with people who cannot stop talking.
3. Know why you are doing this
You must understand your purpose when networking. This helps you in a variety of ways, such as allowing you to create a plan for engaging in conversation and boosting your confidence.
When you understand the reasons behind what you are doing, you will have a much higher chance of achieving the results you are looking for. If you do not have a purpose, you will end up achieving nothing, making things more awkward when you try to start a conversation.
In other words, you need to know why you are networking in the first place before going at it.
Remember, even if you have taken the time to prepare, it is still reasonable to feel shy or even scared. However, by thoroughly preparing yourself for it and taking action to get out of your comfort zone, you will walk home proud of yourself that you have managed to network with other individuals.
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