Believe it or not, introverts can be very successful networkers at holiday parties. No, you do not have to be the life of the party. As a matter of fact, you might make a more positive impact through what most of you do more often than extroverts. You listen! Here are three quick tips for introverts to be successful networkers this holiday season.
- 1. BE THERE: Do not stay home! Attend those receptions and parties this season. Put on your professional party best and a genuine smile, and you are ready for a great event. If you are uncomfortable joining a conversation, use a tip I received from my esteemed colleague, Diane Gottsman. If you see a couple of people talking and one person has their foot pointed outward, you can use that as a sign that the conversation is open to another person. Just walk up and simply ask to join. This is where you will have to step out of your comfort zone, but it is a step well worth your while.
- 2. Stay near the Door: Whatever you do, do not let yourself sit down or stand in the corner. By standing near the door, you have the opportunity to see everyone arriving and leaving the event. As real estate professionals say, the key is location, location, location. Even if you’re in a conversation with someone else, position yourself to allow others to join your group. Just as you would like people to include you, remain open to including others in your conversation.
- 3. Be an Active Listener: The secret to building relationships isn’t in the talking but in the listening. Active listeners show interest in what other people say. They are good at asking open ended questions that encourage conversation. In a previous blog, I wrote that being interested makes you much more interesting because you are actively engaged in a conversation.
You do not have to be a great talker to be a great conversationalist, but you have to be there, be seen, and engage in conversation. Just by attending and engaging in active listening, you will make tremendous strides in building valuable business relationships.
Diane Gottsman is a nationally recognized etiquette expert and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in corporate etiquette training. Diane is also the author of Pearls of Polish, an etiquette guide for today’s busy woman.