You might not be the type of person who loves to socialize, attend big parties, and network whenever you get the chance. But to be a great connector, you don’t have to. Successful connectors who would be classified as introverts often will enter into a social situation with a plan for those they want to meet and connect with. And, a plan almost always produces better results than going into a networking event or other meeting just “winging it.” To effectively connect with another person, it doesn’t matter whether you are introverted or extroverted; what matters is that you’ve spent some time thinking about which relationships are most vital and have a plan for reaching them effectively.
So, do introverts connect better than extroverts? Sometimes, yes. Probably the nation’s best known networking professional came to the realization that he is actually an introvert. Ivan Misner, PhD, founder of BNI and the author of 11 books on networking, shared with me in an interview I conducted for The Connectors that he discovered he’s actually an introvert. Misner said that his wife of 20 years told him during dinner one night that he displayed many introvert tendencies. Misner was shocked! How could the founder of the largest networking organization be an introvert? “It struck me why I started BNI,” Misner said. “I was naturally uncomfortable meeting new people. BNI created a system that enabled me to meet people in an organized, structured, networking environment that did not require that I actually … talk to strangers.”
Introverts, if they really want to make networking successful, will go into the event with a plan of action. Can you imagine how great of a connector you could be with a plan?