Introverts Can't Network - A Myth ExposedOct 01, 2023
There are a number of myths when it comes to networking. One of those myths is that introverts are not good at networking. At Contacts Count we know that is a myth. We have worked with a number of introverts who have successfully learned to build powerful networks.
The words of a CEO from Nigeria who approached Contacts Count for a coaching program were:
“There are 3 things you should know about me:
- I don’t like to network
- The traffic in Lagos is so bad I don’t want to leave my office.
- I am an introvert. I much prefer being alone with my books.”
So why did he reach out to Contacts Count? He had a strong desire to create a greater legacy. He had built a very successful consulting business but felt the need to make an even bigger impact in the world. He recognized that in order to do that he needed to learn how to build relationships with a number of different people.
Introverts are individuals who tend to feel more comfortable and energized in solitary or low stimulation environments. They may find social interactions draining or overwhelming at times. Introverts are diverse, and not all introverts exhibit the same traits.
This CEO did possess a number of the traits often attributed to introverts:
- Listening skills – pretty important if you want to learn about someone else
- Empathy – this trait helps introverts understand others’ perspectives and build meaningful relationships
- Creativity – a skill that can help introverts think of ways to help others
- Loyalty – introverts value quality over quantity in their social connections – so introverts can and do have trust-based mutually beneficial relationships
The CEO realized there were people in his past that he had not spoken to in a long time.
He reached out and reconnected. As is almost always the case it was great conversation. An easy first step to beginning to get comfortable in meeting and talking to others.
He focused on meeting others in one-on-one situations. The one-on-one situations often led to the other person connecting the CEO to someone in their network that they knew could be a valuable resource.
He learned and was energized as he approached these conversation from a teaching and giving mindset. He was looking for ideas and insights on how to build his legacy. He shared his thoughts with others and they made usefull suggestions. At the same time he was always aware of “giving back”. He learned about the other person and what was going on in their life. He often began providing coaching to some of his connections to help them with their business or company.
Here is what he said at the end of the coaching program:
“In working with Vern I gained clarity and used the 8 competencies to grow my network effortlessly. I turned my exsiting network into a real asset. Most importantly I gained confidence and competence in my ability to build relationships.”
About the Author
Vern Schellenger, President and CEO of Contact Count.
Contacts Count is the premier coaching and training organization
dedicated to helping you use the power of human connection to transform your career, business, and life.
Vern is dedicated to empowering professionals and entrepreneurs with the strategies, skills and tools to master networking (even if they are introverted and don’t like networking events). His vast experience includes such roles as HR VP and CLO at Dunkin Donuts, VP & Director of Professional Services at Lee Hecht Harrison, and SR VP of Human Resources at American Bankers Association.