Networking for Shy Lawyers
You've been told over and over again the way to get connections in the profession, drum up business, is network, network, network. You know I'm right. And you know for some people it is just so easy. They jump out there, do it as naturally as breathing. Yet you are more introverted, less comfortable in group situations, don't know how to break the ice or get with the 'in crowd.' Honestly, don't worry. But the question remains: how do you work with what you are to be successful as a solo practitioner?
First, before you go labeling yourself introvert and extravert (yes, that is the correct spelling), understand the difference and then realize you are what you are and you're not going to change:
I’m going by the definitions used by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. According to the MBTI, introverts get their energy from the internal world of ideas and images, and they feel drained if they spend too much time with people. On the other hand, extraverts (and yes, that IS the correct spelling as used in the MBTI) get their energy from the external world of people and things, and they go crazy if they spend too much time alone. It really has nothing to do with social skills, as evidenced by introverts like Jerry Seinfeld.
Whether you prefer the internal world or the external world, that preference is fixed. You can force yourself to act outside of your element, but an introvert can’t become an extravert and vice versa. (Pick the Brain)
So, how does one network if they are not an extravert? Are introverts disadvantaged as entrepreneurs in a profession which requires almost full throttle engagement?
If you feel you fall into the introverted category (and even if you don't) here is a list of 25 great posts on networking for the shy which you need to take the time to read. It was compiled by The M.A.P. Maker:
In addition, I would recommend you absolutely read Endless Referrals by Bob Burg. It is a brilliant book which lays to rest once and for all that networking, building a sphere of influence and creating relationships (both professional and personal) are not just the province of extraverts. Whatever you choose to label yourself, you need to read this book.
So, if you consider yourself more introverted, how have you been networking to bring in clients? Please share.