I was inspired by the participants in my online class on networking this week. Their response to my questions showed their openness to share their thoughts and experience about networking and introversion resulted in an enriching exchange of thoughts.
And why is that? It's a favoured topic for deep-thinkers – it’s what we think about so often for so long. And it's about introverts like me and many out there who possibly can relate.
A friendly alert! The downside to deep-thinking is when introverts OVER-think. Overthinking, based on what I have read and observed is often more negative than positive. The individual thinks so deep and so far, wandering off into imagination of what might or could be. We wonder what someone may think if we said this or that!
I know what that is like because for a long time now, I have been an over-thinker. It’s only in recent years when I gained a better understanding of my introversion, that I learnt to tame my over-thinking nature. Indeed! We need to tame it into submission. It begins with our minds. Only then will we begin the process of adapting.
In the workplace, it's a well-known truth that introverts at work miss opportunities for recognition and promotion. Why is that? It’s because we chose to remain quiet. We chose not to display our talents. We chose not to speak up. It’s not about ambition, it’s about giving ourselves the opportunity to reveal our abilities and skills. To do that, we need to get out of our cubicles and get out of someone else’s shadow.
We don’t have to be loud to be well-connected or influential.
If you are an introvert, rest assured, I am not asking you to BECOME someone else. We are not asking you to be extroverts. We don’t have to be loud to be well-connected or influential. We ought to look within ourselves to consider our inner strengths and use that to our advantage. We may display some extroverted behaviour but that doesn't mean our core introversion has transformed. Not at all! We can remain our authentic introverted selves.
When it comes to networking, clarity of PURPOSE is crucial before we embark on it. When we are clear on the WHY, we will be less resistant to social interaction and less hesitant to chat people up at networking events. Once we know WHY we are there, we can stick around. We are determined to achieve our networking goals.
When we are clear on the WHY, we will be less resistant to social interaction and less hesitant to chat people up at networking events. I believe introverts do value networking in varying degrees and wish to do something about improving the way they connect and converse with others.
When we are aware of the level of our introversion, we will be in a better position to flex our behaviour to engage in conversations and to make connections. Once we are self-aware of our introverted traits and clear on our purpose, we take the next step to learn from those more experienced to show us the HOW. Discover practical ways to be relate with others at work or meetings.
It’s Your Call
Networking is collaborating and teaming up instead of going at it alone. I have been telling people although I am introverted, my preference is working more effectively in a team. Doing so will accelerate our plans in a productive way.
To my fellow introverts -YOU have the CHOICE to relate better, to be an introvert who is adaptable.
So rise UP, speak UP, write UP and turn ON your connecting confidence!