An Introvert’s Plan for Working a Room

by Jennifer Miller on May 13, 2013

in Personal Effectiveness

Introvert + Global Company Meeting + Unfamiliar Peers = Increased Stress

This is a “people equation” recently faced by my coaching client Pete. He was preparing to attend a company-wide, week-long symposium attended by colleagues from throughout the world. Adding to the stress was the fact that Pete’s department had recently reorganized. On the plus side, Pete received a promotion due to the reorganization. The downside: he now had a completely different peer group, many of whom he’d be meeting for the first time during the company meeting. So there wouldn’t be a group of people in attendance that he knew well and could rely upon to help make introductions.

Pete is also an optimist. Even with his trepidation of walking into a room full of mostly strangers, he was still excited to meet his new colleagues.  Pete saw this meeting as an opportunity to:

  • Network with a new group of peers
  • Position himself as an expert in his field of expertise
  •  Share best practices across the enterprise

But Pete wasn’t sure how to approach the networking aspect of this opportunity. Because he’s a low-key kind of guy, he said he wouldn’t be able to just walk in and “work the room”. So we created a plan that capitalized on his natural talent for data collection. Because Pete is very comfortable using a structured action plan, we created a grid that looked like this:

 

Planning ahead reduces networking stress for introverts

Planning ahead reduces networking stress for introverts

By planning whom to seek out and what to say ahead of time, Pete felt very prepared to step into a room full of strangers and start successfully “networking”. If you’re someone who’s not fond of going in “cold” to a room full of people you don’t know, try mapping out a plan in advance. The plan will give you focus and help you craft a networking people equation that looks like this:

 

Plan + Confidence + Enthusiasm =
Successful Networking Opportunity

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