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How to network as an introvert


Published: 22 Jul 2022

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As wonderful and useful as networking is, it can also be quite daunting - especially for introverts. Zoe shares her 5 tips to help you with networking.

Networking is all about building connections, reaching out to people you probably don’t know well and finding common ground with them on your journey of personal and professional development. As useful as it is to build a network, it can also be extremely daunting – especially for anyone who is not a natural extrovert. Zoe, from Haines Watts, has 5 tips for all introverts who want to stay true to themselves but also experience the joys of networking.

1. Be curious

There’s a lot you can gain from being interested in other people and their story and developing an inquisitive mindset. You can learn from other professionals and their journey, whilst at the same time developing professional relationships with them.

2. Truly listen

When we’re nervous, and this is especially true for introverts, we tend to focus more on how we come across in a conversation and what we should say next to make a good impression. However, this means that we don’t actively listen to what the other person is saying. Not only does this make us seem unengaged, it also means we may be missing out on great stories and advice. So, next time you’re at a meeting or event, and talking to someone, try to be an active listener. This way, should you happen to see the same person again in the future, you can easily break the ice by following on from your earlier conversations with them. 

3. Go with a friend

How many times have you avoided attending an event because you couldn’t face going alone? Well, there’s no rule saying that you need to go to these events by yourself. I found that attending with people I knew made it easier for me to speak to new people and ended up gradually building relationships with a network of contacts.

4. Prepare topics

You obviously don’t need to print out a full list of topics and check them off one-by-one. However, coming up with a few topics in advance, which you feel confident sharing with others will make you feel more in control of an unknown situation and more at ease with meeting new people. After you’ve exhausted a couple of the topics, you’ll see that the conversation starts flowing more naturally.

5. Be yourself

Being your authentic self is important to develop strong and trusting professional relationships. Everyone is unique and we all bring different qualities to a team. Recognise that you are a valuable member of a team and don’t try to fit into a mould that isn’t really you.