Networking fears are far more common than people think. Having jitters when out at a conference, while professionals get together, or any other event, can make even the most astute business person feel overwhelmed. It’s difficult for some people to get past their nervousness, and they wind up avoiding everyone else, which completely defeats the purpose of being out-and-about in the first place. But, you don’t have to be paralyzed by anxiety, if you rely on some effective coping methods.
Why Business Networking is Important
Everyone starts somewhere in business, which is to say at the bottom. Most people don’t open a business and get flooded with tons and tons of sales right away. So, it is necessary to get you and your brand out in front of the public and networking is a great way to build a reputation.
Everyone experiences bouts of networking anxiety! Rather than avoiding a handshake or resorting to only interacting with your smartphone when you’re at a conference, use [proven techniques] to face your networking fears head-on. —Inc.com
It’s also a terrific way of keeping your interpersonal skills sharp, as well as learning your preferred choice for dealing with awkward situations, including breaking the ice. Ultimately though, it’s about building a network of contacts that can benefit your business, as well as those of others to be a help to them, thus building a two-way, win-win street.
3 Effective Strategies for Dealing with Networking Fears
It’s quite common for people to experience at least a small or slight level of apprehension when networking. Of course, some have more severe anxiety than others, but there are effective ways of dealing with these types of feelings. Here are some of the best ways to deal with networking fears:
- Ground yourself in reality. Start by asking yourself, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” You already know the answer but your fears can get in the way. When you feel nervous and apprehensive, it’s very easy to blow things out of proportion. Rest assured there is really nothing to be afraid about.
- Open yourself to other options. Networking doesn’t have to be done at large events with dozens upon dozens or scores galore of people. Instead, think of some alternatives, like having breakfast or lunch one-on-one. Or, get together in a small group of just a few individuals, instead of having to brave a super-sized group of people. This strategy works best for people who are afraid of large groups, especially those who like to avoid a chaotic fish bowl.
- Be confident in your value to others. The best source of strength you’ll have in any networking situation is to be confident in what you have to offer others. You do have something of value and are competent in your wheelhouse. So, draw on you are sense of confidence in order to project an attractive and positive energy.
What other advice do you have to deal with networking fears? Please share your thoughts and experiences by commenting!
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