Networking is by far the best vehicle for building businesses,
careers and your circle of influence. For many entrepreneurs
and business leaders their
comfort zone must be expanded
to overcome interpersonal shyness.

It is through networking that we find advice on personal and
business challenges, learn of job opportunities, and develop
new business. Yet to many, the social aspects of networking
events are far outside their comfort zone. Whether it is
shyness, introversion, or a lack of confidence in what to say,
many at a networking event will gravitate to people they know
and loss the opportunity to meet new people.

If you are among these people, it is probably safe to say that
your shyness or introversion has helped you build
tremendous listening skills. This listening strength is a great
weapon for you during networking events.

The main problem you are probably having is that you are so
focused on your discomfort with talking to strangers that you
forget how great it is to be in a conversation with you.

That's right! Great listeners are fun to converse with because
they allow the other person to do the talking. People love to
talk about themselves.

Utilize this listening strength to get the other person talking to
you with just a few words coming out of your most. The
secret is to ask an open-ended question. An open-ended
question is one that cannot be answered with a number of
the words "yes" and "no".

Here are some examples:
  1. What kind of work do you do?
  2. How did you get into that field?
  3. What do you like most about it?
  4. What do you find most challenging?
  5. If you had a magic wand, what one thing at work or
    home would you change?

These questions will get you in a conversation where you will
be able to do what you do best - listen. As they open up they
are very likely to touch on something that you like to talk
about. When that happens, talking will be easier for you. Until
this happens a gentle nod or "oh" will make you a great
conversationalist in their eyes and they will want to be around

Eventually the conversation will get back to you, but do not
dwell on that. By the time it happens your comfort level will
have risen to the point you will be okay with it.
More business by the numbers here,
Networking: 5
consultative questions