013 - How to Connect With Confidence
We all know the importance of connection - or we've all been told six different ways to network, but it's so much harder than anyone makes it sound. Overcoming that is not just a matter of positivity, but a genuine mix of affirmation, preparation and exuding confidence. If it helps, remember that it's not as easy as the pros make it look; 'working a room' is real "work", that's why it's in the name.
For the genuine introvert, you have to work on getting out of your own way. Overcome your fears, let go of self-judgement, and stretch yourself into networking spaces to get the work done. Preparation is key, imagine a perfect scenario where everyone is interested in what you think and use those answers to launch conversations. Have something ready for any topic - they say Eleanor Roosevelt had a small talk prompt set for each letter of the alphabet before any event, and seldom reached whatever she had ready to say about zoology! Everyone left convinced of her ability to socialize. On a more tactical level, challenge yourself to meeting 1-2 people before grabbing a drink or some food. Find groups with an odd number of people, they are easier to break into, and introduce yourself.
Reframe how you think about networking - make it about relationship building and what you can give the other person versus what you can get. Social credit is the only real credit, leverage it any way you can.
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