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:
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: