I am a shy introvert. No one believes me when I tell them that fact, but it is true. 10 years ago, the thought of going to a networking event where I didn’t know anyone and had to make small talk would give my hives. In 2016, I began working with a woman who was a master-networker and I learned there is great value in learning this skill, and it is a skill. For the next few years I read hundreds of books and articles on networking, took webinars and I studied my co-worker for tips and tricks to overcome my owning phobia. Today, while I make no claims to be an expert networker (I still get butterflies in my stomach before events) I want to encourage you to develop your own skills by sharing with you some of the good things that happened once I embraced networking.
There are numerous resources on how to improve networking skills. Some of my favorites are:
- The Fine Art of Small Talk by Debra Fine
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
- How to Work a Room by Susan Roane
- Your Network is Your Net Worth by Porter Gale
The three pieces of advice which helped me most were:
If I can network, anyone can do it. I encourage my fellow introverts to take a few giant steps outside your comfort zone and see what great things might start happening for you.
11/29/2016 05:05:00 pm
Thank you for these words today. They really hit home and what I'm dealing with in the world around me. Especially about being positive and surrounding yourself with positive people.
11/30/2016 09:08:38 am
I'm glad the message helped you It is amazing what happens when you change the energy that surrounds you.
11/29/2016 09:16:52 pm
I would have never pegged you for a shy introvert. You've obviously taken your own advice and done an excellent job of networking.
11/30/2016 09:10:05 am
PAINFULLY shy!! But fortunately, you can teach an old dog new tricks.
12/2/2016 08:44:26 am
Great suggestion. I'm chronically early everywhere I go :)
12/13/2016 05:57:59 pm
Fantastic blog and GREAT tips! I am a huge believer in networking and totally agree that it is a skill that has to be maintained and nourished. Best of all, that's how we met!!
12/14/2016 09:18:15 am
Thank you, Karen!!
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The Audacious Admin is Debbi L. Shaffer, an outgoing, resourceful and highly motivated executive assistant with 20 years of experience specializing in C-Suite Executive Support.