[Image by Bernell of Pixabay]

On 4/14/24, I had the privilege of speaking in Las Vegas, Nevada to a very large crowd of medical coders (AAPC) on the subject of networking.  Of the many questions I was asked, one was what to do if you’re introverted.  Great question!  Here’s my response.

Many individuals think that the only people who are good at networking are extroverts.  That’s simply not true. With practice, I believe we can all benefit and be effective at networking.  My suggestions are:

  1.  Ensure you engage in active listening.  When you do this, it’s a gift to others because you’re placing your focus externally vs. internally.  I also think this is beneficial because for those who think they’re introverts, there is less talking required—that removes a lot of the pressure.  When actively listening you can vocalize as opposed to verbalize.  When we choose to vocalize we’re expressing interest but in a different way.  You may opt to smile, widen your eyes, lean forward, or say something like “Hmm, that’s an interesting point.
  2. Start small.  By that I mean that if you describe yourself as introverted, you don’t have to put your energy in only attending large events.  Start either virtually, on the phone, or with email.  When comfortable, you can increase the audience size.
  3. Introverted people may choose to volunteer their time.  By doing so, the expectation is diminished and you can meet people when you’re ready.  Find a cause that meets your needs or interests and develop relationships that matter to you.

BONUS: Look for quieter events.  Sometimes the louder events  can put us off if we are introverted. We find ourselves possibly struggling to hear and forced to increase our volume.

These three networking tips plus the bonus are designed to help anyone who feels pressured or intimidated by networking. Do your best to add value and you’ll discover how much you bring to the table.

If you’d like more assistance, please email [email protected] or call 518-664-6004.