I am on a training course today to talk about that feeling of self consciousness and how to stop feeling awkward. We often get in our own way when we feel embarrassed. Here I will tell you how to do Networking Without Feeling Awkward!
On the course, we aren’t talking specifically about networking but is often an issue with people who are more introverted or even us extroverts when we are feeling vulnerable.
So how can you network without feeling awkward?
Here is my 5 point plan for helping you over the awkward hump!
- Remember that everyone is there for the same reason
- They will be grateful that you are talking to them!
- Use your strengths here
- It’s not a transaction. It’s a relationship
- Strike whilst the iron is hot
You are all there for the same reason
Everyone, post pandemic, wants to make new connections from behind the screen or in real life. Be confident that they are in the (virtual) room for the same reasons as you. They want to meet you and hear your story just like you want to hear their story. So take a deep breathe and give yourself permission from them that they want to network. \
They will be grateful that you are talking to them!
No one wants to be the wallflower who no one is talking to. Find someone who seems to not be talking to someone and start talking! They will be so grateful that you started the conversation, they will remember you fondly forever!
Use your Strengths
This one is essential and I have talked about Strengths in other blogs.
Today we are playing the game of how do your key strengths help you gain confidence?
I have a key strengths of humour, social intelligence and zest for life. I have found that these are incredibly helpful to me when I am speaking German to a handyman! When I can smile, laugh and enjoy my child like skills and conversations. The Germans have a great sense of humour and if you can show that you know that you are embarrassingly pathetic (social intelligence) but you are trying (zest) and laughing at yourself (humour) you can achieve great things!
It is not a transaction
I have spoken about this many times as Chair woman of iwibdus so I don’t need to say it again – women network without it being transactional. We want to help because we can see that the relationship could help someone else we know in the future. We support for the good feeling, not the outcome. So act like networking isn’t a do or die thing now, but a relationship for the future.
Strike whilst the iron is hot
Today, find them on LinkedIn and ask them for a coffee. Today. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Today. And don’t be embarrassed. That was dating in the 1990s. Do it today!
Hope these top tips help with you networking without feeling awkward.