In an oversimplified work world of only introverts, everyone would work quietly and spend time observing others rather than chatting with them.
With only extroverts, every waking moment might blissfully be spent chatting, brainstorming and getting to know each other.
Whatever camp you find yourself in, there are several strategies to get along with each other in various networking situations. You might even want to try out some qualities and assets from “the other side” that allow you to test the limits of your comfort zone without totally leaving it. With a little effort and understanding, introverts and extroverts can happily meet in the middle at events, presentations, and breaks.
At networking events, conferences or day-long meetings, it may be easy to spot the overt extroverts and introverts in the room, simply by noticing their location.
- Introverts: You’re great at developing personal relationships, so perhaps it’s time to get out and mingle a little bit more. It’s OK to not go crazy with idle chit-chat – it’s merely a way to find some common ground and start a conversation or move on to someone else. Follow-up by connecting on LinkedIn, calling, or emailing anyone interesting you may have met for a future reference.
- Extroverts: You’re great at working a room, so perhaps it’s time to head to the edge of the room with the introverts. Engage in conversation that goes beyond small talk. They’ll appreciate the effort you make to get to know them personally.
The divide between introverts and extroverts may not be as pronounced as once thought, and they may even share areas in common. For instance, both groups can have similar anxiety over speaking in public, whether it’s to a small group or a large crowd. Everyone could benefit from joining a professional speaking organization like Toastmasters International, which trains individuals on networking and speaking skills.
- Introverts: Take a tip from the natural extroverts on your team and try using humor or entertaining stories to liven up a speech. Once you’ve engaged the audience, you’ll feel more comfortable and confident in your presentation.
- Extroverts: Rather than just relying on your outgoing nature to get through a speech, practice and plan a strategy prior to giving it. A little “introvert” introspection at the front-end could really fine-tune your presentation.
Research reveals that one of the main differences between introverts and extroverts is the way in which they “recharge.”
- Introverts: After an over-stimulating conference or day-long meeting, you’d rather retreat to a quiet place to reflect on the day. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be alone. Some one-on-one time with a colleague to discuss the day on a personal level could be equally rejuvenating.
- Extroverts: Since you crave stimulation, you’re probably ready to hit a happening happy hour after a long day to meet new people and recharge. If that sounds like you, instead of inviting the office introvert along and forcing them into your world, make a compromise and invite them to a quiet dinner to discuss the day.
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