First off – let’s stop stereotyping. You simply cannot make such broad and sweeping statements about roughly half the population. Remember the old saying “label jars not people”? Well that applies to any label you are think of using!
Secondly let’s stop making assumptions about what networking is, and where it takes place. A 19 year old woman with green dyed hair may not feel that comfortable networking in a corporate board room filled with old men in suits (but remember, they may also feel very comfortable). If you’re hard of hearing, trying to network in a very loud, crowded space may simply not work.
I’m an introvert, I networked at an event with a great person who inspired this post. Did I enjoy meeting her and chatting? – absolutely. Was it really networking? – of course it was. Turns out, others at the event also felt the same.
People can identify as introverts and still enjoy networking – and can be really good at it.
Instead of making assumptions about people, let’s spend some time thinking about expanding the ways we engage with networking.
For example, standing around after a full day conference, talking loudly in a crowded event foyer works well for some people. For others, a relaxed chat about a topic, in a small group and in a quiet, comfortable room may work better.
If you’re organising an event where you want networking to occur, pause and think about ways you can get everyone to engage.