How to overcome Networking Nervousness..
Although, none of us are born with a natural talent for networking, For many people, networking is a terrifying, disabling prospect. This may be because they are particularly introspective, introverted, shy, hindered by bad experiences, or simply new to it. Whatever the cause, a fear of networking can be hard to overcome once it's established.
Ultimately, the goal of networking is building relationships with other people at an emotional level to help build a long time business. It involves meeting and interacting with new people you can know and trust them. However, the nervous networker is anxious about reaching out to potential contacts and prospects. Feeling comfortable introducing yourself to total strangers is one of the biggest obstacles to successful networking. If you’re a nervous networker you’re not alone. Many people feel a bit daunted about visiting to a networking event or meeting lots of strangers.
Networking isn't an innate ability but a skill that anyone can learn. You don't have to be a smooth operator to be successful; you need to step out of your comfort zone and use the right strategies. The good news is there are three things you can do which will reduce your anxiety.
Acting like a Host
You are at networking event, and you are meeting many people but hesitant to introduce yourself to new strangers. Let's take a different scenario for the event. That is, Consider yourself the event’s host instead of its attendee. Think " if you are the host, wouldn't you introduce yourself to people you don’t know and then introduce them to others?" Wouldn’t you watch for bring new people over to an already-formed small group? Now you can acknowledge the obvious difference between the active role of the host and the passive role of the attendee.
"There was nothing to stop you from playing the role of the host even though you aren't the actual host."
Don't Act, Be the Host
Now Its sounds easy to act but, when it comes actually acting like the host isn't so simple for many people. Not all people are good at acting like something they are not. Therefore, there is important thing to do is: don’t "ACT" like the host, "BE" the host.
Most of the business organizations and networking groups that you go to have a position that is responsible for meeting new people or visitors. It sounds crazy telling someone who is uncomfortable meeting new people at a networking event to be the host of event. At first, it must sound a bit like telling a boxer to “lean into a punch!” however, there is a big difference and, it works.
Most people’s fears regarding meeting new people at networking events come from not having a proper context to introduce themselves to others. When you are the host, you don’t feel uncomfortable introducing yourself to someone you don’t know who’s at your event.
So the key, in feeling comfortable, is to establish the right context.
Become a Gate Keeper
To establish the right context, the best recommendation is that you volunteer to be Visitor Host, at the networking groups or events. A Visitor Host is someone who greets all the participants or visitors and introduces them to others. Over the time, this may allow you to meet many people, put them together with others, and become an accomplished "gatekeeper". Furthermore, it will do it in a way that helps others. By using this method, you’ll start to develop excellent networking skills and get great exposure to many business professionals during a short time.
A distinguishing characteristic of self-made millionaires is that they network everywhere.
Most importantly, they are doing it all the time at business conferences, at the health club, at the family functions, at waiting lounge, or with the person sitting next to them on a plane. This fact alone should motivate you to put yourself in situations where you can meet new people and do so in a way that you just feel comfortable.
It's not called net-sit, or net-eat, it's called net-work.