Networking and You: How Personality Type Affects Networking Style
No two people network the same way. So when you read advice about how to get the most out of networking events you may find yourself frustrated by the results or uncertain about how to shoehorn your own personality into the mold. You may be an introvert or an extrovert. You may even be an ambivert. Here are some practical, real world tips you can start using today to help you create a network strategy that will work for your personality.
- Determine your personality type. You have probably completed a number of personality profiles during your career. For example, you may have participated in the DISC profile test. This popular corporate tool places all employees into four categories: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness. Of course, there are dozens of other tests and potential categories. However, someone who is a dominate go-getter is going to network differently than the conscientious employee who wants to ensure quality and likes to work independently.
- Be yourself. When you do go out to network don’t try to be something you’re not. Don’t follow a laundry list of advice that may or may not apply to your specific personality type. You will feel uncomfortable and not make the connections you want to make. On top of that, if you fake it too much the people with whom you’re talking with recognize that you’re being disingenuous. Don’t be afraid to talk about things that make you comfortable and steer the conversation in a direction that works for you.
- Get out and network. Of course, the only real way to get good at anything is to get out there and practice. Just like with a musical instrument or painting, there are few people who are natural born networkers. You get better over time. If networking makes you feel uncomfortable challenge yourself to attend an event once every other month and work your way up to attending more.
- Don’t limit networking to events. Networking doesn’t have to be a formalized process. Don’t be afraid to talk to people in any social situation. You never know who you are going to meet. If you’re not comfortable striking up a conversation in line at the bank, you might end up behind someone who is. Some situations are perfect for natural networking such as an evening out at the bar.
Are you ready to make important connections for your career? VincentBenjamin can help so call today!