Networking is an important business tool, resulting in new business, jobs and internal connections and alliances. The idea that networking is for people with outgoing personalities is really false, because introverts have strengths that they can use with strategies that blend well with their personalities.

There are different ways to network — one size does not fit all; and it involves more than just talking to a bunch of people at a function and collecting cards.

It is sometimes strategic and structured at the event. Often it is serendipitous in that we meet and connect in all areas of our life throughout the day and just don’t call it ‘networking.’

Characteristics of Introverts and Extroverts:

Introverts                                                                                             Extroverts 
Recharged by being alone                                                               Energized by contact with others
Prefer listening                                                                                   Talkative
Thoughtful and reflective                                                                  Action oriented
Focused                                                                                               Multi-taskers
May be mistaken as aloof                                                                 Seen as friendly and outgoing
Speaking means they are ready to act                                           Want to speak anytime
Need time and space for themselves                                             Like to surround themselves with others
Keep thoughts to themselves                                                          Talking is “thinking out loud”
React internally                                                                                   React externally

Thoughtful Listeners

Listening carefully to others is a skill that comes easy to introverts, who naturally absorb and use what they hear. Introverts generally spend more time listening and less time talking. This rare trait makes them particularly liked and respected by those who come in contact with them.

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