July 25, 2010
Got Networking Nerves?
You'd never know it, but the founder and CEO of Effective Networking, Inc. is an introvert. Diane Darling published The Networking Survival Guide with the premise that everyone has the ability to network, they just have to discover their own way of doing it.
“People think about networking as event-driven, which can be intimidating,” Darling tells PINK. She suggests finding non-event ways to network and knows the benefits firsthand after striking up a conversation in a restaurant with someone who turned out to be the owner of the Miami Heat and CEO of Carnival Cruise lines.
Have trouble breaking the ice? “Start a conversation that begins with, ‘Tell me’,” advises Darling, adding that choosing a networking event should be a thoughtful
process. When there is a specific reason for attending an event, you’re more likely to network effectively, she says.
Don’t want to feel like the odd one out? Inviting others to these events may ease anxiety. “The number one reason people don’t go to more networking events is because they don’t want to arrive alone or stand alone,” says Darling. Experts suggest getting there early before groups form, which can be intimidating.
While women’s organizations are great for networking, Darling also advises attending events for those in your industry, your same level of employment as well as a fun group, like a book club, for relaxation without the stress of work.
Bonus PINK Link: You can be shy and still exude confidence. Here’s how.
By Malee Moua
"I was the shyest human being, but I had a lion
inside me that wouldn’t shut up!" Ingrid Bergman
*Supporting images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Michal Marcol, Master isolated images and Ambro.