Networking for People Who Hate Networking

A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected

Networking for People Who Hate Networking

Shows how the networking-averse can succeed by working with the very traits that make them hate traditional networking.

  • Shows how the networking-averse can succeed by working with the very traits that make them hate traditional networking

  • Written by a proud introvert who is also an enthusiastic networker

  • Includes field-tested tips and techniques for virtually any situation

Are you the kind of person who would rather get a root canal than face a group of strangers? Does the phrase "working a room" make you want to retreat to yours? Does traditional networking advice seem like it's in a foreign language?

Devora Zack, an avowed introvert and a successful consultant who speaks to thousands of people every year, feels your pain. She found that most networking advice books assume that to succeed you have to become an outgoing, extraverted person. Or at least learn how to fake it. Not at all. There is another way.

This book shatters stereotypes about people who dislike networking. They're not shy or misanthropic. Rather, they tend to be reflective-they think before they talk. They focus intensely on a few things rather than broadly on a lot of things. And they need time alone to recharge. Because they've been told networking is all about small talk, big numbers and constant contact, they assume it's not for them.

But it is! Zack politely examines and then smashes to tiny fragments the "dusty old rules" of standard networking advice. She shows how the very traits that ordinarily make people networking-averse can be harnessed to forge an approach that is just as effective as more traditional approaches, if not better. And she applies it to all kinds of situations, not just formal networking events. After all, as she says, life is just one big networking opportunity-a notion readers can now embrace.

Networking enables you to accomplish the things that are important to you. But you can't adopt a style that goes against who you are-and you don't have to. "I have never met a person who did not benefit tremendously from learning how to network-on his or her own terms", Zack writes. "You do not succeed by denying your natural temperament; you succeed by working with your strengths."

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Overview

Shows how the networking-averse can succeed by working with the very traits that make them hate traditional networking.

  • Shows how the networking-averse can succeed by working with the very traits that make them hate traditional networking

  • Written by a proud introvert who is also an enthusiastic networker

  • Includes field-tested tips and techniques for virtually any situation

Are you the kind of person who would rather get a root canal than face a group of strangers? Does the phrase "working a room" make you want to retreat to yours? Does traditional networking advice seem like it's in a foreign language?

Devora Zack, an avowed introvert and a successful consultant who speaks to thousands of people every year, feels your pain. She found that most networking advice books assume that to succeed you have to become an outgoing, extraverted person. Or at least learn how to fake it. Not at all. There is another way.

This book shatters stereotypes about people who dislike networking. They're not shy or misanthropic. Rather, they tend to be reflective-they think before they talk. They focus intensely on a few things rather than broadly on a lot of things. And they need time alone to recharge. Because they've been told networking is all about small talk, big numbers and constant contact, they assume it's not for them.

But it is! Zack politely examines and then smashes to tiny fragments the "dusty old rules" of standard networking advice. She shows how the very traits that ordinarily make people networking-averse can be harnessed to forge an approach that is just as effective as more traditional approaches, if not better. And she applies it to all kinds of situations, not just formal networking events. After all, as she says, life is just one big networking opportunity-a notion readers can now embrace.

Networking enables you to accomplish the things that are important to you. But you can't adopt a style that goes against who you are-and you don't have to. "I have never met a person who did not benefit tremendously from learning how to network-on his or her own terms", Zack writes. "You do not succeed by denying your natural temperament; you succeed by working with your strengths."

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Devora Zack



Devora Zack is a nationally recognized expert in the field of leadership development. Her consulting, network strategies, seminars, corporate retreats, coaching, and strategic plans consistently result in improved productivity and morale.

Ms. Zack consults dozens of diverse organizations in private industry, federal agencies, and the public sector. Sample clients include: America Online, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, International Monetary Fund, DC United, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Internal Revenue Service, FEMA, Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Department of Education.

As program director and re-designer of OPM's prestigious Presidential Management Fellows Orientation, for three years she led an esteemed faculty in dynamic, innovative design, resulting in the highest evaluation feedback in the program's history.

Ms. Zack holds an MBA from Cornell University. Her BA, magna cum laude, is from University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. She is honored with active memberships in Phi Beta Kappa and Mensa.

Ms. Zack has also worked professionaly as an investigative reporter, emergency counselor, actress, and disc jockey in the U.S. and Italy.

Visit Ms. Zack at Only Connect Consulting.

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Introduction: This Book is Required Reading

Chapter 1: Welcome to Your Field Guide

Chapter 2: Assess Yourself

Chapter 3: The Destruction of Stereotypes

Chapter 4: Why We Hate to Network

Chapter 5: Sparkling New Rules that Work

Chapter 6: Networking Event Survival Kit

Chapter 7: Good-Bye Golden Rule

Chapter 8: Networking Without a Net

Chapter 9: The Job Search

Chapter 10: Business Travel

Chapter 11: Creating Events that Work for All

Chapter 12: Defining Outcomes, Achieving Goals

Conclusion: See Ya Later, Alligator

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Networking for People Who Hate Networking

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CHAPTER ONE
welcome to your field guide

Trust yourself. Then you will know how to live.

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

People swear up and down that I’m an extrovert.

This drives me nuts! I deny these accusations adamantly and then am subjected to a laundry list of supposed examples as to why I am mistaken. “But you give seminars for a living! You give presentations to huge groups and seem to love it! Plus, you know how to work a room …”

Blah, blah, blah.

These people have no idea what it really means to be an introvert. Plus, they assume that being an introvert by definition implies that one cannot be a strong speaker or networker.

Together, we will dispute, disprove, and knock upside the head these assumptions.

Welcome to your indispensible networking field guide for introverts, the overwhelmed, and the underconnected.

Your Author and Tour Guide

As we embark through the uncharted terrain of networking for people who hate networking, you want to be certain you are in capable hands. Why am I qualified to lead you on this journey?

First of all, despite protests from well-intentioned, ill-advised naysayers, I am an off-the-chart introvert. I am also nearly always overwhelmed and decidedly underconnected. My idea of a good time is being all alone. I have conversations with people in my head that I think actually took place. I need time to process ideas thoroughly before responding—or I get myself into trouble. The idea of a free-floating happy hour propels me into free-floating anxiety. A cacophony of external stimuli doesn’t excite me; it drives me away. I easily and naturally pick up on nonverbal cues many others miss. I prefer a few deep relationships to a large group of friends.

None of these preferences is linked to my exceptionally high energy level, propensity for public speaking, or business success. That’s because these attributes are not related to what defines introversion, a topic I have researched and taught about extensively for over fifteen years.

I am Type A, and I move fast. These traits are also not related to introversion.

Let’s have some fun. I will present examples of attributes that, to the untrained eye, may seem extrovert-centric, but with a bit of analysis emerge as introvert-friendly.

My favorite sport is running.

Even some “experts” claim that introverts are for some reason slower and less active than extroverts. This is baloney. Think about running—a fundamentally solitary sport that requires a singular focus for extended periods. The runner can think without interruption for the whole length of the run. What a perfect fit for an introvert!

I give two to three presentations weekly.

Whoa! This statistic combats most introvert stereotypes head on. Although I am a private person, I make a point of telling clients I am an introvert (on behalf of introverts everywhere). Introverts are entirely capable of being skilled public speakers. In fact, introverts prefer clearly defined roles and so may be more comfortable leading a discussion than participating in one. Many introverts are more at ease in front of a group than roaming aimlessly through a cocktail party.

I love networking.

Herein lies the book’s focus. This was not always the case for me. I discovered some wonderful techniques that turned the world of networking upside down—or shall I say right side up? You, too, can gain insights that allow you to excel at and enjoy networking. You can be a networking superstar.

Seem impossible? I am here to tell you it is not.

A Brief History of the Introvert

Many readers of this book are introverts. Many have been taught through cultural cues that introversion is a problem, a deficit, something unfortunate to hide or overcome.

From a young age, introverts receive the message that it is an extrovert’s world. Go play with others. Join in on the game. Class participation is part of your grade. Kids who withdraw around crowds are labeled as anti-social rather than applauded for being self-regulating.

Introversion is innate, and preferences are observable early on. As a kid, I asked for games to play by myself—a request that could prompt some parents to conduct a thorough psychological examination. As a parent now myself, I recognized clear traits indicating an introverted preference in one of my sons from the age of three.

THE BIG THREE

Introverts are reflective, focused, and self-reliant. These characteristics lead to the following key distinctions between introverts and extroverts:

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Why not indulge yourself and use all three characteristics at once? Take some time to ponder these traits (reflective), in depth (focus), while alone (self-reliant). I’ll wait here.

Regardless of temperament, by linking your strengths to customized techniques, you will be well-positioned to network away. Introverts, extroverts, and centroverts (definition ahead!) can all benefit from this field guide.

Did I mention that I am psychic? I sense you are curious where you land in all this. Right this way …

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