Making connections and networking is an extremely important part of life, after all you never know when you are going to need a favor from someone or that connection to link you to someone. The thing is, that for people who are socially awkward, it is complicated to socialize and to network with others. Introverts have a harder time being open and talking to other people in order to form a connection. Nevertheless, it is not impossible for introverts to make connections and be successful at it.
It is a matter of following a couple of tips and guidelines, in order to network successfully.
1. Find a common ground
When talking to someone it is complicated enough to meet someone new and not have anything to talk about. For that reason, always find a common ground, try to learn what people like and what they don’t like, and talk about something that both of you can relate to. This might be a great way to break the ice and and hit off a great conversation that might eventually turn into a network connection.
2. Set a time limit
Talking to someone is already complicated enough as an introvert, and thinking of talking for a long time might even make people anxious. Set a time limit for talking to someone and then excuse yourself to go somewhere else. Only prepare yourself for a certain time period and make that time work.
3. Ask for an introduction
It is already hard enough to approach someone, and not know them. Asking someone for an introduction is a great way to get yourself started and to start a conversation. When someone helps you to take that step, it takes some pressure off you and takes the nerves away. It is a great way to meet someone as you don’t start from scratch, you already have a middle point and a conversation where you can start talking. Also as an introvert you have someone else to help you get the conversation started, and you are three instead of two having a conversation.
4. Practice socializing beforehand
Arriving that day without having socialized with new people in a long time, it might be extremely hard. Practice beforehand, so that the day of the networking event or whenever you need to make connections, you are less nervous and you already have some experience. By practicing socializing this means that you try interacting beforehand, previous to an event that you have, forces yourself out of your comfort zone.