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HowtoNetwork:12TipforShPeople
Schmoozingisatrialforshypeople,butarmedwiththesecommon-sensetipstheycanincrease
theirnetworkingmojo.
45

BMeridithLevinon Follow
CIO | Dec11,20077:00AMPT

Networkingisthekeytosuccessinbusiness,saysKeithFerrazzi,businesscoachandauthorofNeverEat
Alone,abookaboutthepowerofrelationshipbuildingandnetworking.Ithelpsyoufindjobs,recruit
talent,winnewcustomersanddiscoverinvestorswho'llsupportyourideas.

OTHERNETWORKINGSTORIES

LearningHowtoNetwork

HowtoMaketheMostofThoseHolidayNetworkingSessions

Butnetworkingisatrialforshypeoplegeeksespecially.Theyviewitasinsincereatbest,manipulative
atworst.Theyeschewnetworkingforavarietyofreasonsincludinglackofconfidence,fearofrejection
andasenseofunworthiness.

Iftheycouldjustrelatetoothersmoreeasily,iftheyjustpossessedmoreself-confidenceandweren't
suchself-consciouswallflowers,theworldwouldbetheiroyster,andschmoozingwouldbesomuch
easier.

Itispossibleforshrinkingvioletsandshyguystomastertheskillofnetworking.Theyjusthaveto
realize,saysFerrazzi,thatsuccessfulnetworkingisallaboutbuildingintimate,sincererelationships
basedonmutualgenerosity,notduplicity,andthattheycan'tachievetheircareergoalsontheirown.
Theyhavetonetworktheirwaytosuccess.

Ifyou'restrugglingtomeetnewpeople,here'ssomecommon-senseadviceforincreasingyour
networkingmojo.

StartSmall
Iftheideaofapproachingpeopleyoudon'tknowintimidatesyou,beginyournetworkingeffortsby
seekingoutfamiliarfaces,suchasrelativesandfriends.

"Youcandoasignificantamountofvaluablenetworkingwithouteverhavingtomakeacoldcall,"says
LynneSarikas,thedirectorofNortheasternUniversity'sMBACareerCenter."Startingwithaknown
[contact]insteadofanunknowndemystifiesthe[networking]processandhelpsgetashypersonover
thehurdle."Aseriesofsuccessfulconversationswillmakeyoumoreconfidentintheprocess,Sarikas
adds.

Alogicalnextstepaftertalkingwithfriendsandfamilyistopursueindividualswhograduatedfrom
yourcollege.Youralumninetworkcanbeagoldmineofconnections,saysSarikas.Itexistsforthe
purposeofnetworking,socontactinganalumoutoftheblueshouldn'tfeellikeacoldcall.Afterall,
theyjoinedthenetworktomakeandtakesuchcalls.

StopApologizing
Introvertsandinexperiencednetworkersoftenapologizewhenaskingforanindividual'shelpbecause
theyseenetworkingasanimposition,notasanexerciseinrelationshipbuilding,saysSarikas.

"Theyfeellikethey'reaskingsomeonetodothemafavor.Theydon'tthinkthey'reworthsomeone
else'stimesothey'reapologizingforit,"shesays.

Apologizingmerelydemonstratesyourlackofprofessionalismandconfidence.It'salsoannoyingand
juvenile.Youdon'thavetoapologizeforaskingforhelp.Youdon'thavetoapologizeforwantingto
learnmoreabouttheindividualwithwhomyou'renetworking.Onedayyoumaybeabletohelpher
out.

TapintoYourPrimalIntinct
"Humansarehard-wiredascommunal,tribalanimals,sotheshypersonisn'tshybynature,"says
Ferrazzi."Theyareshybydesign.Somethinghappenedtothemtomakethemwanttorecoil."

Sometimes,whenanintroverthearsthathe'snotinherentlyaloner,thathumansareinnatelysocial
creatures,therealizationhelpshimemergefromhisshellofshyness,hesays.

TheWisdomofDaleCarnegieinFiveBulletPoints

DaleCarnegieliterallywrotethebookonnetworkingin1936.HowtoWinFriendsandInfluencePeople
demystifiedtheprocessofmakingfriendsoutofstrangersandinspiredlegionsofbusinesscoachesto
carryonCarnegie'smessage.PeterHandal,thechairman,CEOandpresidentofDaleCarnegie&
Associates,sharedsomeofCarnegie'srulesformeetingnewpeoplewithCIO.com.

Smile:"Thisissuchasimple,basicrule,yetpeoplejustdon'tthinkaboutit,"saysHandal.They'reso
focusedonneedingtonetworkataconferencethattheydon'trealizethey'rewalkingaroundwitha
scowlontheirface.Scowling,serious,expressionsareforbidding,saysHandal.Peoplearemorelikelyto
warmuptosomeonewhosaysgoodmorningwithabroadsmilethantheyaretosomeonewithadour
countenance.
Askaquestion:Joiningagroupengagedinconversationcanbeawkward.Thebestwaytodosoisto
poseaquestiontothegroupaftergettingthegistoftheconversation,saysHandal."Youbuildyour
credibilitybyaskingaquestion,andforashyperson,that'samucheasierwaytoengagethanby
barginginwithanopinion,"hesays.

Listen:OneofthemostprofoundpointsCarnegiemadeinHowtoWinFriendswasthatpeopleloveto
talkaboutthemselves.Ifyoucangetpeopletodiscusstheirexperiencesandopinionsandlistenwith
sincereinterestyoucanhaveagreatconversationwithsomeonewithouthavingtosaymuchatall.

Businesscards:Alwayshavethemhandy,saysHandal."They'reaneffectivewayforyoutoleaveyour
namebehindsothatpeoplerememberwhoyouare."

Saytheperson'sname:"Peopleliketoheartheirownname,"saysHandal,pointingtoanotheroneof
Carnegie'sbasicprinciplesthataperson'snameisthesweetestsoundtothatperson.Sowhenyou
meetsomeone,usehisnameinconversation.Doingsomakestheotherpersonfeelmorecomfortable,
likeyoureallyknowhimandheknowsyou.

M.Levinson

BeYourelf
Manyintrovertedprofessionalsthinktheyhavetoactlikeanextrovertinnetworkingsituations.While
youdohavetomakeanefforttobemoregregariousthannormal,youshouldn'tbeartificial.

"Youdon'thavetobetheschmoozer,"saysNeverEatAlone'sFerrazzi.Theproblemwiththeschmoozer's
approachtonetworkingisthathedoesn'thavetherightintent:He'snotinterestedinhelpingother
peopleonlyhimself,saysFerrazzi.

"Betheauthentic,aw-shucks,humble,shypersonyouare.Itcanbeendearing.Don'ttrytobe
somethingyou'renot,"addsFerrazzi.

Inotherwords,it'sOKifyou'realittleawkward.Justdon'tkeepapologizingforit.

TapintoYourPaion
Sarikasrecommendsjoiningclubsandattendingeventsthatrelatetoaninterestoractivityyouenjoy.If
you'reabuddingoenophile,attendawinetastingatyourlocalliquorstore.Eagerreader?Joinabook
club.Can'tgetenoughofthepigskin?Attendafootballgameorwatchoneatabar.

"Justbecauseyou'reatechnologyprofessionaldoesn'tmeanyoushouldonlygototechnology
conferencestonetwork,"saysSarikas."Thatpersonsittinginfrontofyou[attheballgame]mighthave
ajobyoualwaysdreamedaboutorworkinacompanythatyouwanttogetinto.Youcouldsitbehind
themthewholeseasonandneverknowthatunlessyouinitiateaconversation."

Theadvantageofengaginginactivitiesyouenjoywithotherpeopleisthatitmakesconversationso
mucheasier.Sowhileyou'reanalyzingthecabernet'snose,discussingtheplotofAThousandSplendid
Sunsorsharinggamestats,askthepersonwithwhomyou'rechattingforhernameandabouther
work.There'snoreasonnottodosoifyou'rehavinganamiableconversation.

Attendinggatheringswhereyoufeelcomfortablehelpsyouputyourbestfootforward,saysDebra
Feldman,anexecutivetalentagentandjobsearchexpert."Avoidsituationswhereyoumightbe
stressed,rushedordistractedfromyournetworkingmission,"sheadds.

Ifyoudofindyourselfinaroomfullofstrangersatatechnologyconferenceorparty,Ferrazzi
recommendsgoingstraighttothestuffthatinterestsyou."Whenyoutalkaboutthingsyou're
passionateabout,youwilllightupandappearmoreengaging,"hesays."Youdon'thavetofindashared
interest[toconnectwithothers].Youjusthavetoshareyourinterests."Sobesuretoaskthepeople
aroundyouwhattheydointheirsparetime.

AkforIntroduction
PeterHandal,DaleCarnegie&Associates'chairman,CEOandpresident,notesthatshypeople
attendingconferencestendtofindonepersonwithwhomtheyspendalltheirtimeforthedurationof
theevent.

Althoughsettlinginwithonepersonmaybemorecomfortablefortheintrovertthanintroducing
himselftolotsofnewpeople,saysHandal,itdefeatsthepurposeofnetworking.

Herecommendsthattheshypersonaskhisnewbuddyifthenewbuddyknowsanyoneelseandifthe
newbuddycouldmakesomeintroductionsonhisbehalf."That'sanicesoftwayforpeopleattheshy
endofthespectrumtomeetothers,"saysHandal.

BeGenerou
Sometimesshypeoplehavetroublenetworkingbecausetheydon'tthinktheyhaveanything
significant,suchasajoboracontact,togivebacktosomeonewhohelpedthem.

Althoughnetworkingworksbestwhenyoudohavesomethingtooffer,whatyouofferdoesn'thaveto
beajob,saysFerrazzi.Sincereinterestintheotherpersonevenflatteryisaformofgenerosityand
goesalongwaywhenyou'renetworking,hesays.

"Beauthentic,shareyourpassionsandhelpotherpeoplefeelgoodaboutthemselvesorbesuccessful
that'sallyouhavetodotonetwork,"hesays.

BePrepared
Ifyou'reafraidyou'llfreezeuporgettongue-tiedinasocialsetting,prepareyourselfinadvance.Think
ofice-breakerquestionsyoucanaskpeopleyoumeet.Ifyou'reattendinganeventspecificallyto
networkyourwaytoanewjob,haveyourpersonalpitchready,saysFeldman.Shealsorecommends
anticipatingquestionsyoumaybeasked,suchaswhyyou'relookingforanewjob,andhaveclear,
conciseanswersattheready."Yourdeliveryhastobeattentiongrabbingtoovercomeinterruptions
andcompensateforalackofprivacy,"shesays.
FollowUp
Sharinginformationwhetherawebsite,article,reportorphonenumberwithnewcontactsbuilds
yourcredibility,saysSarikas.Soifyoupromisedtoe-mailareporttosomeoneyoumetontheplane,
makesureyoudothat.

"Whenyoudowhatyou'vesaidyouweregoingtodo,itgivestheotherpersontheimpressionthatyou
keepyourword,"shesays.Ifyoudon't,you'rejustanotherschmoozer.

GetOverYourFearofRejection
Inthecourseofnetworking,you'llencounterpeoplewhocan'tordon'twanttohelpyou.That'slife,
saysSarikas.Don'ttakeitpersonallyanddon'tdwellonit.It'sallpartoftheprocess.

TakeRik
Whenyouovercomeyourfearofrejection,it'llbeeasiertomakecoldcallsandstrikeupconversations
withstrangers.

"Thepersonsittingnexttoyouatabanquetoronanairplanemaybefeelingasuncomfortableasyou
areandwillappreciateyoubreakingtheice,"saysSarikas."Theyjustmightbeafabulouscontactfor
youorknowtherightpersonforyoutotalkto."Youjustwon'tknowuntilyoutry.

SeeaShrink
Ifyoucan'topenuptopeople,you'llneverbeabletonetwork.Andifyouabsolutelycannotovercome
yourshynessonyourown,Ferrazzirecommendsseeingatherapistwhocanhelpyouunderstandwhy
you'resoshyandgiveyouthetoolstochange.

"Yourabilitytobeintimatewithothersisthecoreofnetworking,"saysFerrazzi."Shypeopleknowat
theircorethatthey'relonelyandlongformoreintimacy.Theyjustdon'thavethecourageandthe
confidencetoachieveit."

MeridithLevinon

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