How to find your networking style

3 Questions to help you find your networking style

We will look at your natural energy, communication style and preference of social media use. For more specific tips and tricks about in-person networking, you will have to wait until week 6 ‘Offline Visibility’.

1. Introvert or extrovert energy?

Do you consider yourself more of an introvert or an extrovert? This is not about ‘putting you in a box’. It is just to get an idea of your natural behaviour and preferences. When you start going out there to connect it is important that what you do feels good for you and overall gives you energy. The different styles of networking of introverts and extroverts are best explained by the following aspects:

Think to talk, inner directed, focus on thoughts and ideas.
Go deep, enjoy few stimuli, need concentration.
Energize alone, prefer one-on-one discussion, value privacy.
Talk to think, outer directed, focus on people and events.
Go wide, enjoy simultaneous stimuli, need diversion.
Energize with others, prefer group discussion, value public sharing.

2. Analytical, intuitive, functional or personal communicator?

What’s your communication style? You have a particular style of communicating, but do you know what it is, including its strengths and weaknesses, and how it compares to the styles of others? A certain communication style is not inherently better than another and staying close to your naturally prefered style is usually the best you can do in order to keep your authentic voice. It’s important to realize though that flexibility around your preferred style allows others to more successfully hear the important things you are communicating.

AnalyticalAnalytical communicators like hard data, real numbers and tend to be suspicious of people who aren’t in command of the facts and data. They typically like very specific language and dislike vague language. They often have little patience for lots of feeling and emotional words in communication.
Plus: Able to look at issues logically and dispassionately. This means others tend to see them as having high-levels of data and informational expertise.
Risk: They may strike certain people as being cold or unfeeling.
IntuitiveIntuitive communicators like the big picture, they avoid getting bogged down in details and cut right to the chase. They don’t need to hear things in perfect linear order but prefer instead a broad overview that lets them easily skip right to the end point.
Plus: Communication is quick and to the point and comfortable with big ideas and out-of-the-box thinking.
Risk: Not always having enough patience when they are in a situation that actually requires getting into nitty-gritty detail.
FunctionalFunctional communicators like process, detail, timelines and well-thought-out plans. They like to communicate things in a step-by-step fashion so nothing gets missed. Their communication generally hits all the details.
Plus: Their communication generally hits all the details and nothing gets missed.
Risk: Losing the attention of the audience.
PersonalPersonal communicators value emotional language and connection and use that as their mode of discovering what others are really thinking. They find value in assessing not just how people think, but how they feel. They tend to be good listeners and diplomats, they can smooth over conflicts, and typically have numerous friendships.
Plus: Build deep personal relationships with others and able to pick-up ‘vibes’ that others may miss.
Risk: Occasionally seen as too emotional.

3. Online creator or inactive?

Do you like to be active online (on Facebook, in LinkedIn groups etc.) or do you prefer to just read and see what other people are sharing? Maybe you even like to create content for social media through writing blogs, creating websites, videos and podcasts. There are different types of social media users. Which one are you?

CreatorPublish on the web (blog, website, video, podcasts).
Criticpost reviews online, comment on blogs, or contribute in other ways to existing content.
CollectorRead lots of information and may vote or tag pages or photos.
JoinerHave a profile on different social networking sites and visit them with some regularity.
SpectatorRead online information, listen to podcasts, and watch videos but do not participate.
InactiveAren’t engaged in any of these social technologies.