Summary of “Networking for People Who Hate Networking“: Through advice, testimonials and scenarios, Devora Zack, a total introvert who became an expert in the art of networking, rolls out a completely new networking method perfectly adapted to the introverted and under connected who can finally expand their social circle without exhausting themselves.
By Devora Zack, 2011 (French edition), 2010 (Original American edition), 172 pages
Note: This review is a guest review written by Johanna Andria from the blog, Learneuse.com
Chronicle and summary of “Networking for People Who Hate Networking”
According to the MBTI study, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Manual (1998), about 50% of the population are introverts and 50% are extroverts.
This means that 50% of the population is not particularly fond of network events and long evenings out after work to “have a chat” with colleagues.
That said, networking is essential to move forward with your projects, with your work and to feel good about your life.
Introverts need to expand their circle of friends and professional contacts as much as extroverts. As much as they hate to network, they’re going to make the effort to read books, take advice in order to progress and remove obstacles. Unfortunately, they will continue to drag their feet when it comes to meeting strangers. They will often come back from these network events that they find tiring feeling disappointed and empty-handed.
In “Networking for People Who Hate Networking,” Devora Zack opens our eyes to the obvious: introverts fail to network because they follow advice that is not suited for them and are addressed to a species separate from theirs, inhabitants of an alien planet:
“Go chat with others”, “meet a maximum of people”, “eat with a different person each lunchtime”, “participate in a maximum of evening activities”. It’s a bit like serving introverts a daily quiche Lorraine when they don’t like lardons.
This book “Networking for People Who Hate Networking” is a real relief for all those who say they are “reserved” or who shy away from crowds.
Devora Zack shoots down all the preconceptions we can have about networks and dismantles the negative stereotypes surrounding the behavior of introverts. The style of extroverts is more commonly seen as positive in networking, but, lo and behold, we will discover that they would benefit from drawing inspiration from the networking techniques of introverts.
The author encourages introverts to use their natural style to network. In fact, what they consider as weaknesses prove to be strengths in building a solid and durable network.
Devora Zack offers introverts a method based on advice, practical actions and testimonials from her experience to help them network successfully while respecting their personality and their own pace.
Chapter 1: Welcome
Devora Zack is a total introvert who has always been naturally reserved and solitary. She has never been crazy about social events, but she has achieved the feat of becoming a network expert. How? Simply by studying for 15 years the peculiarities of introverted people and by trying to understand how she functioned herself. Above all, what was important for her was to build deep and genuine relationships, not to accumulate a crazy amount of superficial ones.
Devora Zack developed her own networking method and now hosts conferences and seminars around the world for the company she founded, Only connect Consulting.
The great misfortune of introverts is that one often misunderstands what they are. They are considered weak and uninteresting because ever since they’re toddlers, they are unsociable; they don’t want to play with others and they don’t talk much.
Devora Zack takes apart all misconceptions and states that, on the contrary, introverts have 3 main characteristics: They are reflective, focused and self-reliant.
Chapter 2: Self-Assessment
In the book, “Networking for People Who Hate Networking”, there is no question of opposing introverts and extroverts or claiming that one style prevails over the other. The idea is to make everyone explore the peculiarities of their style to better communicate with others and to gain a better understanding of them.
To get off to a good start and avoid getting needlessly upset about the behavior of a colleague, we must keep in mind two realities:
- The same action can hide different intentions. If you ask an extrovert why he/she has a voicemail, he/she will answer that it is to never miss a call. If you ask the same question to an introvert, he/she will tell you that it is to never answer a call.
- The modes of operation can be fundamentally opposed. In a team, an introvert will need to work continuously to be effective while an extrovert will need to punctuate the working sessions with breaks devoted to chatter.
The goal is to understand our differences and find solutions to better interact and move forward together.
Therefore, Devora Zack proposes a test to find out where we are between the profiles, introvert and centrovert (Yes! We can be a bit of both. This is an opportunity because centroverts can be chameleons), and extroverts. This is an assessment of 12 very simple questions.
This self-assessment gives an indication of our dominant profile. The book’s examples will definitely speak better to people who are more situated towards the ends of the spectrum.
I played along and did the test. Here is the verdict (Drum roll)…I am almost the queen of introversion with a score of 32 out of 36 maximum points. This, of course, is not a surprise and I thought I was well-advised to get myself Networking for People Who Hate Networking.
Chapter 3: Eliminating Stereotypes
Looks can be deceiving! An introvert can be outgoing, and an extrovert can be shy.
So, how to distinguish an introvert from an extrovert? Just know that they don’t consider the notions of respect, relationships and relaxation in the same way.
Devora Zack gives us, in “Networking for People Who Hate Networking”, two catch-up courses to update our knowledge on the subject and disabuse ourselves of our stereotypes.
1- Crash Course in Introverts
Here’s a quick question that you can think about for a few seconds:
“What traits do you spontaneously associate with the term ‘introvert’?”
Here are the most frequent answers given to Devora during her seminars. “Boring, slow, distant, not a team player…”
The image we have of introverts is not very good, is it?
However, introverts who make the most of their true nature rather than stifle t have real strengths to build a quality network.
The key is knowing yourself well enough to do the right thing. The following table summarizes the 3 principles and 3 techniques that introverts can rely on to build strong relations:
Among the many strengths cited by the author about introverts are their reflection, their focus, their sense of observation and especially their ability to decode non-verbals, and their self-reliance.
The weak points of introverts are essentially their excessive need for privacy, and they’re drained by chatter. All this may give the impression that they are distant from others and can be perceived as being cold.
2- Crash Course in Extroverts
What do introverts think of extroverts?
To give you an idea, I’ll provide you with the few stereotypes that I can sometimes have about my expansive colleagues when I’m irritated :
“They are inconsiderate, big mouths, don’t listen, want to run everything, dominate conversations to the detriment of others! “
I know, it’s wrong and not nice to think that. Stereotypes are hard to break. Fortunately, I read Networking for People Who Hate Networking to get better!
Extroverts have their own style and their own strengths. They are also entitled to their own chart:
Devora lists the main qualities of extroverts: can build relations easily, ability to adapt in all circumstances and to resolve conflicts.
Extroverts also have their weaknesses: They don’t care much about following up with their relationships because they prefer the encounter in the moment; they have a tendency to ramble and provide superfluous details and can sometimes be perceived as intrusive in terms of privacy during conversations.
All of these insights aim to teach us how to get to know one another better, to understand one another better, and to interact with one another better by breaking down the barriers of preconceptions.
Chapter 4: Why Do We Hate Networking?
For starters, before a networking event, know that the heart of an introvert will race. They will have only one desire, to run for their life to get back home, to sink into their couch and quietly read a nice little book.
What’s going on in their brain? First, internally, the introverted person is playing out their favorite disaster movie:
“To network, I’ll have to chat, talk about my life, talk to strangers… Everything I hate! I won’t know what to say; I’ll again be a wallflower; they’ll find me insignificant; they will look right through me and I will have ruined my evening!”.
Difficult to take pleasure in networking with this state of mind! Fortunately, there is a trick to prevent this post-apocalyptic self-talk from sabotaging the evening.
Have you ever wanted to reframe one of your pictures and realize that the new frame makes your painting sublime?
It’s the same with our actions. We move forward in life with a dusty frame of thoughts inherited from our past experiences. By approaching reality with a brand-new frame of mind, we are changing our approach to people and events.
Let’s try this experiment:
“Networking bores me, we just blabber about superficial things.”
“Networking is an opportunity for me to establish genuine relationships with new people of my choice.”
“I’ll have to tell my life story to strangers.”
“I will take the time to ask questions and listen to the people I have found interesting.”
“An entire evening of continuous chatter! I’m already tired in advance!”
“I’m leaving work earlier to get some rest before the evening. Moreover, I will stay, at the latest, until 21h to enjoy the exchanges. Afterwards, I’m going home to sink into my couch and immerse myself in my favorite novel.”
Devora Zack also tells us how she defies the most basic rules of hosting when she organizes her workshops. She settles quietly in the training room to reread her notes before the start of the session. Very concentrated, she doesn’t greet the first people who arrive little by little and doesn’t rush to introduce herself. She prepares and paces herself to devote all her energy to the activity. She waits to be introduced to start with a burst of energy and a big smile. The participants leave her seminars feeling delighted.
2- Take Action: Self-image and Networking
In addition, Devora Zack encourages you to remember a networking event that you saw as negative and to rewrite your self-talk into a positive speech.
To help you progress, here are 3 helpful tips:
- Learn to recall your negative talks.
- Don’t try to erase your negative thoughts, it would be worse, (it’s as if you’re forcing yourself not to think of pink elephants).
- Think instead of a positive sentence that will gradually take its place.
When we end this negative self-talk that’s a social stigma attached to our introverted personality and we put into perspective our little blunders, we stop seeing ourselves as the victim and endorse the mentality of a someone who celebrates step by step their small victories:
“Yes, I stammered when the CEO of Toutpourmamie spoke to me” (negative). “But I redeemed myself and we talked for a good 10 minutes about my project, Mamieenforme. Next time, I will repeat my personal presentation“(positive).
Chapter 5: New Rules that Work to Grow Your Network
An introvert who seeks to follow the advice of an extrovert to network “will deflate faster than a soufflé that’s taken too soon out of the oven”. They will become exhausted. An exhausted introvert is an inefficient introvert.
An introvert who seeks to network in the manner of extroverts is like a left-handed person trying desperately to have good handwriting with their right hand. Why not just try to have good handwriting with the left hand?
Introverts (and centroverts), stop wanting so much to leave your network event with a suitcase of business cards as an extrovert would. Remember:
“Extroverts collect; introverts connect”
Devora urges us to adopt new networking rules (which, in fact, could benefit all profiles).
1- New Rule No. 1 (replaces “I shoot from the hip and say whatever”): I take the time to reflect and I feel out the situation
- Before the event, take the time to reflect and prepare your answers to communicate your ideas with clarity and precision,
- Before and / or during the event, observe in order to gather information. It is especially by observing and not by speaking that one learns.
2- New Rule No. 2 (replaces “Promote yourself and sell yourself”): I process and focus
Extroverts are particularly good at highlighting their successes and promoting their organization. As a result, they extend their network very easily.
Conversely, introverts are rather uncomfortable when it comes to talking about themselves from the outset. Their preferred strategy will be to ask questions rather than reveal personal information.
The strength of introverts is they listen attentively and really pay attention to people. It’s a surefire way to make a good impression.
For the exchanges to be as fluid and interesting as possible, it will just be a matter of asking well-formulated questions. For example, choose open questions over closed questions:
How? What? Avoid asking why, which can be perceived as intrusive or aggressive. Example: “What do you like about your job?”. “What made you change careers?”. This will encourage your interlocutor to open up.
If you want to perfect this art of questioning, I invite you to read the article I wrote: “The art of asking the right questions to learn and progress”.
3- New rule No. 3 (replaces “Spend as much time as possible with others (party)”): Follow your own rhythm (pace yourself)
Listen to this extroverted young female adventurer, one of whose favorite hobbies is to go on day trips with strangers. “I just go on a tour bus and spend the rest of the day chatting with the person sitting next to me. It’s great!”. This makes her feel good about meeting lots of different people.
This hobby would be unthinkable for an introvert!
Introverts are comfortable in situations where they can engage in specific topic conversations as part of structured activities. And for that to happen, they will network all the better since they will be able to do so at their own rhythm by pacing themselves to recharge their batteries.
The 2 maxims of the introvert could be:
- The thought of Philosopher, Martin Buber: “Solitude is a place of purification”.
- The equation: Fewer people + less time = better outcomes.
Quantity is an exhausting and artificial measurement of success for introverts.
Why? Because introverts give their all. If they pursue multiple goals or relationships at the same time, they will quickly feel overwhelmed.
The best strategy for an introvert will be to build a strong and compact network of reliable contacts.
Chapter 6: Networking Activity Survival Kit
Even if you have just discovered that you have great skills to expand your network as an introvert, you still need a couple of kicks in the backside to get moving.
Let’s be realistic! Mingling with the crowd while gorging yourself on appetizers is not really in your nature.
It’s like going to the gym. At first, you go reluctantly, but after making the effort, you will feel happy about doing it. This will be even more true if you respect the new rules adapted to your style.
This part of the book is quite interesting because Devora gives us operational advice to best prepare us for any networking situation.
Stop and think about it.
- Register in advance (to not bail out at the last moment).
- Prepare an outfit in which you are comfortable.
- Stop work early to take 30 minutes just for yourself before you get your feet wet.
- Arrive early at the very beginning of the event. You will feel good and be able to more easily engage the conversation with the few people present. Never arrive late! You will be very uncomfortable if you awkwardly arrive among everyone who has already started chatting in small groups.
- Give a hand in helping prepare the room. It will be an opportunity to casually network by having a well-defined role.
- Go with a friend.
- Specify your goals: meeting at least 2 people.
- Freshen your breath…
- Read the nametags at the entrance. To identify people you already know, get a perspective on the profile of those present.
- Stand near the buffet. It is a trick to be able to start small talks about the specialties served: “Do you know this cheese? This buffet is splendid, etc … “.
- Scan the room and the participants discreetly. Then, identify the people you would like to approach for whatever reason.
- Get in line: chat with your neighbors and when you’re served, you can of course end the conversation by exchanging your business cards. (a simple question you can ask: “What brought you to this evening?”).
- Be accessible: smile!
- Note the unusual: people sometimes like to wear original accessories to stand out. Compliment them.
Follow your own pace
- You don’t know what to talk about? It doesn’t matter because you will be interested in people by asking them sensible questions (they love it!): “What work do you do? What do you enjoy most about your job? Do you have plans for the holidays?“.
- You like to protect your privacy. To avoid being embarrassed, decide in advance what you will be willing to reveal about yourself. Furthermore, Devora Zack put together a list of “trick” questions for which you can prepare answers in advance.
- Schedule breaks to recharge your own batteries: get out for fresh air, go for a walk to relax. Be careful about sensory overload. Learn to recognize it and to set limits.
- From time to time, take notes on business cards (name, date and location of meeting, personal details, a phrase on the topic of conversation, intended follow-up).
- Learn how to politely end a conversation and do not trap people in too long of conversations (they are there to network too): “I really enjoyed meeting you, I promised myself I’d make the rounds, I have to leave you;you probably want to talk to other guests, I don’t want to hold you up“.
- Know when to leave: leave the premises before being exhausted and after reaching your goals, if you stay when you are no longer alert, you will make a bad impression.
As an introvert, you have one last strength to help reap the rewards of this active networking:
“Extroverts dazzle with light banter, introverts dazzle with thoughtful follow-up.”.
Don’t hesitate to send an e-mail or a written letter within 48 hours after the event to the people with whom you had good contact. Remember the context of your exchange and send, for example, an article or information germane to your conversation.
With all these tips, you can easily survive at your next networking event. To test this new way of bonding and gently pushing the limits of your comfort zone, you can, for example, start by accepting the your colleagues’ next invitation to go out to eat (the one you have always declined so you could rather relax at home after work ).
Chapter 7: Farewell Golden Rule
To have harmonious relations with others, you were repeated the golden rule:
“Treat others as you want to be treated.”
Devora Zack asks us to swap this rule for the new platinum rule:
“Treat others how they want to be treated”
To understand this new mindset, just put yourself in a real-life situation.
You have just had a hard day at work. Your extrovert colleague thinks he’s doing you a favor by inviting you out for a drink in a nice and lively pub. You just want to go home, take a nice shower, and listen to some music. Out of politeness, you accept, but deep inside you’re irritated.
Imagine the opposite, after the hard day of work, you tell your employee to go home without a debriefing. You think you’re doing him a favor by telling him that he must feel like you, tapped out by all these endless negotiations and that he needs to recharge his batteries at home. He is internally disappointed because he needed to think things over by continuing the conversation with you over a drink.
In both situations, each person refers to what they would like us to do for them and applies it to their interlocutor. We can see that the principle of the golden rule does not work.
According to the author, the platinum rule is the most valuable element of her seminars, the one that generates the greatest change in behavior and interaction among participants.
It is indeed a rule that touches upon the notion of genuine respect for each other’s styles. To apply it requires an effort that is well worth it.
To do this, you will need a little training to assess the natural preferences of your interlocutors by observing their attitudes (verbal and non-verbal cues) and then adapt your communication according to the profile of person that you will have in front of you.
The challenge is to adjust your behaviors to the style of your interlocutor while saving your energy reserves and respecting your internal self.
Chapter 8: Networking Without a Safety Net
In this part of “Networking for People Who Hate Networking,” Devora Zack explains to introverts “how to dose out your participation and make a minimal appearance to avoid being wrongly taken for a snob“, and to do so in all situations of everyday life since life is ultimately nothing but a giant and perpetual networking ground!
This is what introverts need to remember in order to survive and have fun at every potential encounter:
- The best is to prioritize well-structured activities and programs: introverts flee informal gatherings. They like to have a well-defined role and are more efficient and talkative if they are interested in the subject that will be addressed. These activities may be a course, a training program or conferences in which they participate or host. Devora, on the other hand, was able to integrate very well into the student community of her campus by becoming the official DJ of parties.
Who would have thought that this job would fit an introvert like a glove? If you think about it, it fitted perfectly: she had a clear mission and had well-defined interactions with students (playing the music they asked). She was able to participate in all the student parties without being forced to engage in multiple exhausting conversations. As a bonus, she made people happy!
You too, think about the type of activity that might be suitable for you in order to do more networking.
- As an introvert, you need time to reflect and process. When faced with a request, you will always tend to say ‘no’ before saying ‘yes’. To remain diplomatic, don’t be so quick to categorically say ‘no’. Say instead that you are going to think about it or request for more specific information in writing. Either way, always take the time to answer.
- Introverts like peaceful and quiet places where they can network with people who have the same places of interests as them (libraries, quiet and structured settings…).
- You are not an expert in rhetoric like extroverts. However, you know howto do many small acts of charity for others, doing small favors like:
- Helping set up chairs.
- Distributing documents.
- Transmitting useful information.
Ask your interlocutors questions.You will thus make an impact in your own way and without using up all your great energy.
Chapter 9: Searching for a Job
Devora Zack provides us with her expertise to highlight the things which an introvert must particularly work on during his/her job search:
- Take care of your appearance. In fact, the introvert is rather more focused on their inner world and often neglects this aspect. The most effective and least expensive technique to send a positive image is a smile…Guaranteed to please!
- Strive to make a good first impression with your future employer. Know that it takes more than 8 encounters to erase a first bad impression. For this to happen, do what you do best, reflect and prepare yourself ahead of the interview.
- As in real life, focus on building your virtual and social networks qualitatively according to your style by personalizing the contacts.
- Fine-tune your“elevator pitch”: imagine that you meet a very influential person in an elevator, and, to your astonishment, they turn to you and say, “Tell me a little about yourself”. This is the first time and certainly the last time they’ll give you their attention. You have 30 seconds to introduce yourself. It is worth thinking about what you would say in these circumstances. Opportunities are everywhere! It would be a shame to miss one because you were not prepared.
- Set your limits and your energy. Organize your schedule to alternate between time for recharging, time for networking, and time for interviews.
Chapter 10: Business Travel
You never know who you are sitting next to when you travel.
Out of laziness, Devora Zack ostensibly ignored the dean of the college of where she was going to apply for a job. He was sitting right next to her during the flight that was bringing her to the same interview.
Business trips (by train or plane) can bring about very pleasant encounters.
1- While en route
You don’t have to speak during the whole trip but make the effort to communicate 10% of the time:
- Greet the person as you find your seat.
- Offer small favors during the trip (chewing gum, a magazine, lower the shade).
- Allow some exchange time after the small meal.
- Then close the conversation with a polite phrase like: “Unfortunately, I have work to do,” “I really need a nap before I get there,” “It was very nice to talk to you”…
- If the chemistry is good, nothing prevents you from extending the discussion and exchanging your business cards before the end of the trip.
- Send a friendly e-mail or text within 24 hours.
2 – On site
Business trips can be difficult to manage for introverts. They will have a better time anticipating and organizing a schedule instead of improvising on the spot.
- Find the time slots during which they will favor networking (workshops, lunches, free time) and the people with whom they would like to exchange. Then they cut 50% of these chosen time slots to keep some gaps for recharging their batteries.
- Politely and simply decline an invitation to go out after the seminar: “Thank you, but I’m going to relax in the hotel tonight”. No need to go into excuses or justifications. It’s up to each individual to know their limits. A total introvert will need more time to recharge and will prefer to go to bed. A moderate introvert will accept the invitation but will make arrangements to leave it sooner. No need to feel guilty. Each individual has their style and way of recharging their batteries.
- List possible networking opportunities and choose the ones that matter most personally: When you are interested, you are interesting. You will feel good and motivated by these opportunities, which will have a positive impact on the quality of your networking.
- Make a list of professional and personal information that will allow you to connect with your interlocutors (common points). Make sure that these elements are short, positive, interesting, varied, easy to communicate, adapted to the situation. Example: your current job and what motivates you, your hobbies and interests, your recent vacation. Practice talking about these topics with someone you trust. The idea is to manage to integrate these few sentences into a conversation in a natural way: “My daughter would love this place!”, “These workshops are very well organized!”, “What do you know about tomorrow’s speaker?”, “How long have you been working in this sector?”.
Chapter 11: Organizing Activities that Work for Everyone
This part of “Networking for People Who Hate Networking” is particularly intended for managers, trainers or teachers who wish to create events that are adapted to all: introverts, centroverts and extroverts.
In addition, to make her point, Devora show us the case study of brainstorming.
You are already familiar with this exercise, which is done at many gatherings and allows participants to produce as many ideas as possible. The host stands in front of the whiteboard and takes suggestions from people who choose to participate.
You should notice, once you have identified each other’s styles, that it is an exercise that especially benefits the extroverts.
Often, introverts will simply observe, think, call out an idea from time to time but will be silent most of the time (unless it is a subject that particularly fascinates them. They will then be loquacious!).
This is unfortunate, because at the end of the session, the host will have missed 50% of the possible suggestions.
Fortunately, there’s a solution. Just adapt this activity and make sure that all styles can express themselves. How? By leaving time (1 or 2 minutes) to the participants to write down on 2 or 3 sticky notes their proposals and by giving them the floor one by one to verbalize their ideas.
This will be more rewarding because everyone will have been able to contribute.
In general, the author advises organizing several icebreaker activities to give participants time to get to know each other and alternate between informal and structured times to allow everyone to find their own place at their own pace.
Chapter 12: Defining Outcomes, Achieving Goals
The author proposes to take action and create goals that are positive, controllable, accessible with effort, measurable, ecological and respectful of our values.
These goals will build on the strengths of our style and will develop our network by setting concrete outcomes to achieve.
She gives as an example the case of Carlos, an introverted executive who was respected in his company but who felt a little out of place with his colleagues. He wanted to make progress in networking. His goal was to invite people he barely knew for coffee or lunch 2 times a month for 3 months. He tracked his progress in a simple excel chart. He achieved his goals while developing new habits and greater ease of getting in touch with people. His goals were in harmony with his style (meetings face to face, spaced enough so he could still process and respect his pace…).
Book critique of “Networking for People Who Hate Networking”
First of all, this book, “Networking for People Who Hate Networking” was an epiphany for me! It helped me understand what was wrong with my mindset concerning networking. Today, I can see more clearly in what can help me forge more qualitative relationships with others.
As I read, I smiled a lot and recognized myself in Devora Zack’s different portraits of introverts.
Before reading “Networking for People Who Hate Networking”, I would beat myself up thinking that I was unsociable, that I was not cool like my extroverted colleagues could be, who had reached 500 friends on Linkedin.
From time to time, I would force myself to collect business cards and increase exchanges on social networks. All that only to end up exhausted by the whirlwind of social interactions, sometimes too superficial. In short, I was like an angry left-handed person who was doing their utmost to write with their right hand. It exhausted me; it made me unhappy and eternally unsatisfied.
I respect my nature
I have now changed how I view myself and I no longer want to pretend to be someone I am not. And, I take my most beautiful pen and I write unashamedly with my left hand. If someone wants to slap me on the wrist because I’m not using my right hand, I’ll explain to them that it’s better this way because I respect my nature.
At last, I am introverted, and I don’t hide it anymore. Furthermore, I am finally willing to express myself in accordance with my personality style. I feel more confident and unfazed!
I realized that taking the time to think before speaking, to prepare before taking action, to prioritize the quality of contacts over the quantity, and to allow myself time to recharge my batteries was my winning strategy for networking.
On that note, I hope that you too, my introverted (or centroverted) readers, will go through the trouble of following the advice and exercises of this book, because it can also positively change your life.
As for you, my extroverted friends, stay as you are and let’s complement each other to move forward in the right direction!
In addition to the reserved people whom Devora Zack wrote in support for, I think reading this book can be useful to anyone, especially parents, teachers, managers, spouses or friends of introverts:
- “Networking for People Who Hate Networking” can help you learn to recognize the profiles of the people around you. This will allow you to adapt your communication and make it easier to connect with others. For example, I understood why, in the evenings after school, my 16-year-old daughter would routinely go up to her room without a smile and come back down half an hour later all chipper. Before, I would accuse her of being moody. Thanks to this book, I realized that she had a rather introverted personality. And that she just needed some refreshing time alone after her hard day.
- Have you ever tried to make an impromptu request to an introvert? If you do, and you demand an immediate response from him/her, you may be hit with a rather sharp refusal, or even a polite and insincere ‘yes’ that can damage the relationship after the fact. To avoid being deadlocked, tell him/her instead: ” I’ll give you time to think about it, and we can talk about it later?“. Remember, the introvert needs time to create a thoughtful answer.
- “An introvert is like an artichoke. You have to peel away a lot of leaves to get to the heart. Its bloom is often late but will reveal you some nice surprises”. I love this analogy of Devora Zack. Behind their distant and cautious appearance, an introvert can have a lot to share with you. Try to ignore stereotypes and get to know them better!
It is a token of fulfillment and well-being
In conclusion, this practical guide ultimately leads us to reconcile with ourselves and with others. As Devora Zack says, Life is nothing but perpetual networking. It is therefore better to know how to communicate all while respecting what we are deep inside.
If you want to go further to build quality relationships, I suggest you supplement the reading of Devora Zack’s book with Dale Carnegie’s book,“How to Win Friends and Influence People”. You will find inside complementary tips that are simple and easy to implement. With these 2 books, you will be right and ready to become an all-terrain networker.
Finally, one last tip: Do not get trapped in your introvert, extrovert or centrovert label. You have the power to change and expand your comfort zone. Practice, learn from your mistakes, open your horizons by always going a little further in your goals. You will have the chance to progress and to learn a lot from others.
- Field notes and testimonials from the author’s experience.
- The practical exercises ending each chapter encourage us to take action.
- My favorite part: the turnkey networking kit.
- A very easy to read book.
- I would have liked more concrete advice to know “how to apply the platinum rule without betraying a part of oneself?”.
- Many repetitions related to the chapter structure.
- It is a book that will speak more to introverts and perhaps a little less to extroverts and centroverts. Nonetheless, it is interesting to read for anyone who wants to improve their relationship with people of different profiles.
My rating :
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