Regardless of the kind of work you do, networking is a must. It can open doors to new opportunities, customers or jobs. Networking can also be challenging. While some people are very comfortable walking into a room and striking up a conversation with a stranger, many of us are daunted by the thought and can think of a million things we would rather do.
Canadian networking experts Gayle Hallgren-Rezac, Judy Thompson and Darcy Rezac of Shepa Learning Company have surveyed more than 5,000 clients and assembled solutions to the top 10 networking challenges:
Challenge #1: Being an introvert, I am most comfortable in small groups or one-on-one.
Challenge #2: Getting up the nerve to speak to strangers.
Challenge #3: It’s a challenge to break in and introduce yourself where there are cliques.
Challenge #4: I am not quick with small talk.
Challenge #5: Conversational skills – I can generally carry on a conversation, but there are some people I am entirely awkward with, and I cannot clearly identify why.
Challenge #6: How do I exit a conversation gracefully?
Challenge #7: Scheduling to attend an event due to time constraints and sometimes cost.
Challenge #8: How do I find groups that I ‘fit’ with?
Challenge #9: How do I follow up? How do I maintain my relationships?
Challenge #10: I don’t think I bring as much to the table as others.
Check out their suggestions in this recent article they wrote for BC Business.