Networking is a scary concept for many people who haven’t done it before. It can be nerve-wracking to interact with new people whom you have never met, and if you’re a self-proclaimed introvert, this makes it even more difficult. Social interactions can be challenging, there is no doubt about it. Some people are naturally proficient in these circumstances, and others may have to spend plenty of time and energy on becoming confident and successful at networking.
While it can be easy just to write it off and remain a digital hermit for as long as time permits, networking is an essential skill that everyone must develop. The ability to make connections with other like-minded people will be invaluable in any journey to success, so it pays to start leaving your comfort zone and getting out and about. Here are five ways for introverts to improve confidence in networking:
1. Meet Up With People from Social Apps
We’re sure you know about Discord or Reddit, so if you feel comfortable with the communities you are part of, it can help to set a meet up with your internet friends to get started. You could use an app like Meetup for this. If you’ve made online friends over the years, perhaps attending a hangout to grab a coffee or go shopping for technology together could be the catalyst to confidence. There really is no better way to start talking to people than when you know they have similar interests as you.
While online friendships are often different compared to those that are in-person, it might be less intimidating and more comfortable to manage when you have known someone for quite some time. It’ll be better and easier than approaching a random stranger and striking up a conversation, because those typically never go well in the end.
If you can find Discord or Reddit community members near you, put on your mask, clean yourself up, don your favourite shirt and get out there! There is no better way to start building confidence in networking, than by doing it with people that have similar interests.
2. Introduce Your Friends to Other Friends
Networking isn’t just meeting new people or making connections. It also involves improving your confidence in building existing networks. If you have a friend who might get along with others in your circle, bring them together with your hobbies. Linking people can be difficult without common ground, so find exciting ways to bridge the gap. If your friends are all video game enthusiasts, introduce them to each other through a multiplayer game, or some party games online. That way, you all get a feel of each other’s energy.
3. Don’t Look Down On Yourself
Positivity is key when interacting with people. People can often sense a lot about a person based on their energy. This sense means that keeping your spirits high with positivity is essential. Not all people are accepting of others, so when things don’t work out, don’t look down on yourself. Chances are, it’s not you, it’s them! Additionally, maintaining conversations with a good vibe is essential in first encounters, so share plenty of fun stories, or whatever has happened in your hobbies. These are great ways to keep people engaged, which allows them to find their own similar stories to relate to yours.
4. Be a Listener
While many get overwhelmed with new people, it can help in social interactions to learn how to be a listener. Talking is easy, but knowing how to listen and observe how people speak and operate can assist in finding what works for you. Listening is a skill that not many people have, and the best networkers use their ears more than their mouths. You can discover a lot through observation, and many introverted people are actually very good at this!
5. Make Your Goals Achievable
When starting on your networking journey as an introvert, setting achievable goals is the perfect way to stay steady. Creating over-the-top plans is never a good idea, as social interaction, like most skills, has to be built over time and at a customised pace. An example of an excellent objective to place each day is to practice looking presentable even when just at home. Long-term goals can be to make five new friends in the span of a few months, which is a small number that can assist in the journey of networking for introverts.
Networking is complicated, and many people actually find it more difficult than it seems. However, the trick to getting a start on things is to be comfortable with where you plan to take the first step. By interacting in-person with some people who you already know, this can add a significant confidence boost and a few people skills to your roster in an instant.
Coaching For Geeks is a service that aims to develop skills such as networking for introverts and other self-proclaimed “geeks.” We understand the difficulties of social interaction, which is why we offer custom approaches for all geeks to develop their abilities to be social in today’s world. Sign up to know more about how we help build geek confidence in our brethren all over the world!