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How do introverts approach networking?

I'm a bit shy so I'd love advice about how to network.

Jim asked
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4 Answers

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A super valuable thing I learned was that although everyone at an event may look like they've known each other since kindergarten – they haven't! With that in mind, I usually find that it's ok to just jump into a conversation, of course assuming that it doesn't look like they're discussing something super serious/personal.

The question from there is, well how do I jump in? EASY! Just say, "Hey! I figured since we're all here trying to meet people, do y'all mind if I jump in your conversation? Please, carry on – I'm just curious to hear what y'all are discussing!" If you acknowledge that you're breaking into their conversation it makes it much less awkward, and once you're in the conversation, make sure to ask questions to keep the conversation flowing. Once it's flowing you're good to go! Hope this helps!

Omar answered The University of Texas at Austin
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Go with a close friend or a coworker who can help you start conversations. Be sure to go with someone that's understanding and will help you branch out.

Angela answered University of Vermont
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Have a bunch of questions you rely on, so if you feel stuck or there's awkward silence, you have something to rely on.

David answered Harvard University
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As an introvert myself, I have found that a lot of people are just as nervous as you are. Often times instead of approaching a new individual they will cluster up in groups, which doesn't mean they're all friends. I like to do a rough introduction to everyone and then making individual introductions people who seem accepting of a new face. Those people will be more likely to introduce you to the people who appear less interested.

Sierra answered Livingstone College
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Mary In networking situations I think it is always best to introduce your self to everyone around you. This will make sure that you can join in any conversation throughout the evening. At the end of the day, everyone is there for the same reason. Enjoy!