One would expect that introverted people are bad at communicating and don’t do as well in networking. That’s actually a fallacy.
Yes, by default introverts don’t find socializing as enjoyable as others may do. They may feel uncomfortable when they are around people, especially ones they don’t know. As a result, they may not talk much and keep to themselves. This is not necessarily a bad thing though
In her book ‘Taking the work out of networking‘, Karen Wickre identifies three qualities that make introverted people stand out in networking:
- They have a strong sense of curiosity
- They have good observational skills
- They have the ability to listen
These qualities are actually shared by great networkers. They are the ones who learn all about the person they are talking to; The ones who capitalize on this knowledge; The ones who connect with others over in-depth discussions and topics of mutual interest – rather than just passing on a business card.
In order to be effective, networking must have depth. It’s not about the number of people that you meet or the number of business cards you give out. It’s all about the quality of contacts, the common ground, and the rapport.
So, if you are introverted and have so far been held back from expanding your professional network, give it a try. Your ability to listen and explore more may actually give you a great advantage in cherry-picking the right individuals to connect with, and forming a solid relationship with them. Quoting an article from Ellevate Network in Forbes “Introverts network differently because, for introverts, networking is best when it’s almost entirely one-on-one.”