I used to think that only extroverts can be good at networking. I mean, I grew up watching my dad and my siblings who are more extroverted than me charm the crowd on many social occasions, while I prefer to speak to one or two people the whole night.
However as I interact with more people, I realise that being introverts have some surprising qualities that can make us effective networkers.
In an article on Time.com (https://time.com/5373403/surprising-benefits-introvert/), it was said that introverts have the LOT qualities:
Good Listeners: In networking events, most people want to talk about what they do, and some want to sell others something. I don’t like to meet people who are like that, do you? In contrast with people like that, introverts are right at home listening to others talk – once they can overcome their initial self-consciousness. Active listening builds connection, and that’s what really counts in networking.
Observant: Besides being quite adept in listening, introverts are observant. They think about what they have heard and what they have seen. They analyse. They remember. And these make introverts generally observant people. When you are observant, you can sense people’s needs – who they can be connected to, and who they can connect you with.
Thoughtful as networkers: Introverts generally don’t work the whole room in a networking session. Even in a gathering of 5-10 people, introverts might prefer to just have deep conversations with 2-3 persons. But introverts can be thoughtful after the connections are built, and do thoughtful follow-up actions, like sending personalised inspiration quotes, useful links that this person might need, or even initiate a whatsapp introduction to connect people.
If you’re an introvert, l hope you start to see your LOT of hidden superpower – active Listening, being Observant, and being Thoughtful. These qualities might need some exercising to blossom, yet being aware of them is a start.