You might not be the type of person who loves to socialize, attend big parties, and network whenever you get the chance. To be a great connector, however, you don’t need to be the type of person that enjoys these things. You don’t need to be an extrovert at all.
Some successful connectors, who would be classified as introverts, will not enter into a social situation without a plan. They will prepare for those they want to meet. And, a plan almost always produces better results than going into a networking event or another meeting by 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 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. What? 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 that’s 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 and extroverts, if you really want to make networking successful, go into an event with a plan of action and I bet you will become a better connector!