10 tips for the extrovert networker

I previously mentioned a friend of mine who dislikes being categorized and requested to be excluded from personality tests during training sessions. I’ve known him for about 15 years and initially did not like him when we first met. However, I later discovered that beneath his brash and overbearing exterior, he is actually kind, loyal, thoughtful, and perceptive. He thrives on meeting and being around people, while I also enjoy solitude but can become the life of the party in a safe and secure environment. I consider myself a contextual extrovert.

In this document, I will provide some tips for extroverts or those in extrovert mode to make the most out of networking experiences and meeting new people in a networking scenario.

Networking tips

  1. Active Listening: Show that you are engaged by using verbal and non-verbal cues, such as nodding, maintaining eye contact, and asking follow-up questions. Remember, it doesn’t always have to be your turn to speak.
  2. Asking Open-Ended Questions: Instead of asking closed-ended questions that lead to simple answers, try asking questions that begin with “what, where, why, when, who, how” to encourage more meaningful and expansive conversations.
  3. Avoid Interrupting: Allow others to express their thoughts fully without interrupting. Take a moment to reflect and seek clarity before responding.
  4. Focus on Understanding: Rather than always providing answers or insights, give others the opportunity to share their knowledge and perspectives. Sometimes asking a question is more valuable than providing an immediate answer.
  5. Practice Empathy: Recognize that networking events may not be enjoyable for everyone and that some people find them draining. Use your energy to bring yourself down a notch and be sensitive to others’ comfort levels.
  6. Pass the Mic: If you sense that someone else has valuable input or expertise on a topic, invite them into the conversation and allow them to shine. This shows that you value collaboration and others’ contributions.
  7. Reflect Before Responding: Take a moment to think before speaking, ensuring that you fully understand what someone is saying or asking. Avoid jumping in too quickly with your own thoughts or opinions.
  8. Practice Mindfulness: Stay present in the conversation by focusing on the person you are speaking with and actively listening. Avoid getting distracted or constantly thinking about what comes next.
  9. Seek Feedback: Ask friends and family for their thoughts on your listening skills and any areas for improvement. Be open to their feedback and use it to enhance your networking abilities.
  10. Be Yourself: Embrace your natural extroverted tendencies and avoid trying to be someone you’re not. Authenticity is key in building genuine connections with others.

Remember, these tips are meant to enhance your networking experience, not change who you are. Embrace your extroverted nature while being mindful of others’ preferences and creating meaningful connections. Happy networking!

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