How to Not Be Awkward at A Networking Event
Networking events. They seem tailor-made for the guy in a perfect suit shaking hands with all the higher ups - and they are asking him to lunch. Meanwhile, you’re in the corner hoarding an appetizer try.
There is hope, coconut shrimp fans. You don’t need to be Perfect Guy, you just need to work within your strengths. Personality Lingo is a great resource that lays out four basic communication styles. Determine which resonates with you to leverage your style as your strength!
Do networking events...
...feel slow and monotonous, driving you crazy?
You might be a Mover! You have a knack for creating interest wherever you go. Whether you tell “that crazy story” or you mobilize your table to find extra dessert, you create memories by being yourself. Slow down enough to get to know those around you - they may prove valuable connections in the future!
...seem trite and pointless?
You might be a Thinker! These events can create space for you to investigate new ideas by conversing with experts you respect. Discover who’s-who and make a point to ask questions of a key contact while you have the chance. Perhaps you’ll leave with new ideas to consider and unlock your newest solution.
...make you feel a little… lost?
You might be a Connector! Fortunately, the discomfort will quickly evaporate as you make connections. Ask the person next to you about their passions, hopes, and dreams and you’ll soon be in your element. Odds are, you’ll be doing them a favor by initiating!
...seem draining because they fall outside your routine?
You might be a Planner! Determine how this event could help you reach your goals. Come with a plan, whether it is to meet a key contact or ask about a relevant topic. Accomplishing small goals can help you leave feeling like the event was worth your time and effort.
No matter what “type” you resonate with most, we can all learn from each other. Use your strengths and you may find yourself at ease and confident, shaking hands with the higher-ups yourself!