Jacket Summary: "Would you rather get a root canal than schmooze with a bunch of strangers? Does the phrase 'working a room' make you want to retreat to yours? Is small talk a big problem? Devora Zack used to be just like you -- in fact, she still is. Yet she's also a successful consultant who addresses thousands of people each year, and she didn't change her personality to do it. Quite the contrary.
"Zack politely examines and then smashes to tiny fragments the 'dusty old rules' of standard networking advice. You don't have to become a backslapping extrovert or even learn how to fake it. Incredible as it seems, the very traits that make you hate networking can be harnessed to forge an approach even more effective than traditional techniques. It's a different kind of networking -- and it works.
"Networking enables you to accomplish the goals that are most important to you. But you can't adopt a style that isn't true to who you are. '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.'"
Table of Contents:
- Introduction: This Book Is Required Reading
- 1: Welcome to Your Field Guide
- 2: Assess Yourself
- 3: The Destruction of Stereotypes
- 4: Why We Hate to Network
- 5: Sparkling New Rules That Work
- 6: Networking Event Survival Kit
- 7: Good-bye Golden Rule
- 8: Networking Without a Net
- 9: The Job Search
- 10: Business Travel
- 11: Creating Events That Work for All
- 12: Defining Outcomes, Achieving Goals
- Conclusion: See Ya Later, Alligator
All right, enough about my navel. Zack, who herself identifies as a pretty strong introvert, summarizes the key distinctions between introverts and extroverts in a manner that's clearer and more succinct than I've heard in a while: Introverts think to talk; go deep; and energize alone; while extroverts talk to think; go wide; and energize with others. By harnessing their reflective, focused, and self-reliant qualities, she argues, introverts can indeed be stellar networkers -- it's just that their success looks a bit different on its face than the extrovert model to which we've become accustomed. Specifically, successful networking for denizens of Introville (I'm not a fan of the cutesie Introville and Extroland metaphors myself, but hey) entails the following steps:
- Pause before initiating interactions. "Introverts do well by strategizing an approach, researching options, and clarifying goals in advance of taking action."
- Process a situation and focus on a few individuals before diving in -- the end result being, you expend less energy, and get better results.
- Pace yourself. In Zack's words, "Create meaningful, real connections. Retreat to recharge. Repeat."