Most people hate going to networking events, where you show up and only have a few precious seconds to grab your listeners’ attention and make an impact. Networking gets a bad rap by most people based on past experiences, but what if you are approaching networking all wrong?
Networking forces you to put yourself out there; being in that position can be exciting for some, but uncomfortable to others, which is why it’s important to understand how to network as both an introvert and extrovert. At our Network Like a Boss: Understanding Behaviors of Introverts & Extroverts training, we explore the concept of networking from both behavioral types.
We’ve all been in scenarios where we felt completely drained afterward and could not explain why. We start internally reviewing; slept well last night—check, proper amount of caffeine—check… then why am I so tired? The answer is something drained your energy recently and it may not have been the last thing you did. Much like your car has a tank of gas, so do you. Over time activities drain your gas, and you may have been running on fumes because you had not refilled your tank. Most people have heard of the terms introvert and extrovert, but do not really understand what the differences are between them. The biggest difference is how their energy is drained and refilled.
An extrovert tends to gain energy from people and actually find that energy is sapped when they spend too much time alone. Extroverts like being around people from social events to networking, or evening going shopping to busy stores. While an introvert experiences the opposite and loses energy from being around people for long periods of time, so they may do these things sparingly.
To better understand behaviors associated with introverts and extroverts, the following are some example qualities of each type:
- Enjoy solitude
- Close relationships
- Not talkative
- Action oriented
- Large networks
- Center of attention
- Think out loud
- Quick decisions
Their differences lie in science and each behavioral types’ brain functions differently. For example, extroverts use dopamine to feel happy, where introverts use acetylcholine for pleasure; and extroverts brains run on energy-spending nervous systems versus introverts, who run on an energy-conserving nervous system.
Fully understanding your types’ qualities and how they function is key to networking like a boss.
For introverts to maximize their networking they need to focus on preparation. Prior to the event it’s important to have a strong digital, personal brand. Do things like post on your social networks to let people know you’re attending, reach out directly to attendees, and talk publicly about projects, releases announcements, etc.
To make yourself feel most comfortable at a network event, make sure to review the agenda in advance, see who else is attending, identify people you want to meet, and even use a buddy system with an extrovert.
For extroverts a networking event is much simpler. Bring a big stack of business cards, pop a breath mint, and pack your best 30-second introductory commercial. Networking events are like your game day; your brain is excited and your energy is flowing. Just be cautious not to scare away people that are not like you. Be observant, be aware, and network your heart away!
Want to learn more on this topic? Attend our Network Like a Boss: Understanding Behaviors of Introverts & Extroverts in-office training after work on Tuesday, Dec. 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. You can purchase tickets here: www.coeuscg.eventbrite.com.