Because the perception of extroverts can be that you are loud, the life of the party, and in constant need of interaction—which can be true at times—you might miss the chance to get to know people more in large social settings. Develop techniques for conn
- When I was a high school student living in Athens, Greece, I remember coming back late at night from the discos and making a list of all the people I saw and connected with that night. The more the connections, the merrier. The more the people, the higher my perception of the social outing's success. I didn't even know this at the time but that's what energizes us extroverts. Being in the thick of people interactions and bouncing off all of that energy.
Now the flip side of this can be that we come across being aloof, distracted, and very superficial in our interactions. Being aware of this is important. Let me give you a few strategies to help you manage this impression and build meaningful connections. Mingle freely, but follow up strategically. If you meet up with people you don't feel that you got enough time with, follow up within a day in an email or quick social media message.
Schedule another one-on-one time to follow through with a richer discussion. Plan before you attend. In business communication we always say know your audience. You should do your homework before you attend a social business event. Is someone there who you have a common connection to? Someone you should spend a little bit more time with? Be strategic so that you have a few substantial conversations versus hopping around the room the entire time.
Plan for distractions. A conference social event is usually held in a large ballroom with tons of noise and visual distractions. As I mentioned earlier, minimizing your visual and auditory distractions will help you have better conversations. Tag along an introvert. I often learn something when I observe my introvert friend Brenda in action. She may need to decompress after a social but when we are in the room, she finds the best open-ended questions and connects topics seamlessly.
I, on the other hand, may often need to restrain myself from jumping into the conversation to share my gut reaction or some personal anecdote. Play network matchmaker. We as extroverts have a wide breadth of a network. In the large settings it's a good idea to connect people with common interests and contexts. This adds to our value proposition in the workplace setting and helps newcomers to the group feel less overwhelmed.
There's value to a broad network and these tips will help you leverage it.
- Knowing yourself
- Inward vs. outward
- Being vs. doing
- Stretching the introvert
- Making decisions
- Influencing and leading others
- Stretching the extrovert
- Multitasking mindfully
- Networking strategically