It’s no secret that networking can require amount of confidence. Sometimes, the hardest part is just getting yourself out there and initiating the conversation. If you tend to be shy by nature, however, doing so can prove even more difficult. Being shy doesn’t have to inhibit your ability to network with others, though, and it may even serve as a jumping-off point for you to improve your skills the next time you find yourself in a social situation.
Overcoming Networking Anxiety
Consider the following 3 tips, all of which can help turn even the shyest of professionals into networking gurus.
1. Stay Up on Current Events
One of the biggest issues faced by shy professionals in networking is being able to start a conversation with someone they might not know very well. It’s an essential skill, however, and should never be overlooked. Staying up on the news and current events in and around your area (as well as national news) is an excellent way to ensure that you always have something to talk about if things start to feel a bit awkward. As you get to know the person, try to hone in on their key interests – both professional and personal. Networking Austin provides a warm environment for meeting new people and can be a big help in terms of growing into a more confident personality.
2. Start with Familiar Faces
If you’re shy, chances are the idea of introducing yourself to a group of unknown professionals isn’t exactly enticing. While there will certainly be times when this will be necessary, you can break the ice a bit by starting off with familiar faces. Networking with people that you’ve met at least once or twice but haven’t had a real moment to connect with yet can help you to improve your skill set in a more controlled, relaxed environment than you might find if you were to go in cold. This is also a great way to gain introductions to those that you haven’t met yet. Networking Austin helps to initiate group conversations as well, which can be a great way to start branching out into less comfortable territory without feeling anxiety. Build a core network with those who you feel comfortable reaching out to and allow them to help you move forward and grow.
3.) Be Yourself
It’s not uncommon for those who are shy to overcompensate when meeting someone for the first time in order to make a good impression. If you get caught up worrying about impressing the person, however, you may not come off as who you actually are. Being yourself is a crucial part of networking, as these are people who you will hopefully be building long-lasting working relationships with. As one might expect, it’s usually a lot easier to let your guard down when you’re dealing with friends or acquaintances, but being mindful of how you present yourself is important in every situation you encounter. Sometimes it can help just hearing personal stories in a public format like Networking Austin, as it can help to break down barriers for those who tend to be shy.
So don’t let a tendency towards being shy affect your career. You will never know what you are capable of until you try! Have you already been to a networking event before? If so, tell us about it in the comments below!
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Original Source: https://www.networkingaustin.com/beginning-tips/3-essential-networking-tips-for-shy-professionals