09 January 2019   |   by JESSICA NWUZI   
I have been reflecting on all the women empowerment programmes I have hosted since 2014. These are over 10 events, with over 800 women in attendance within the last 4 years.

At these events and others, I have met different types of women, all of whom have unique networking traits. So I created a fun Instagram post on the different types of female networkers I have met…. but because you are my personal person…I decided to go a step further and not only share with you, the various networking personalities I have come across, but also give you some tips on how to improve on each profile mentioned. Please find the time to read through and write back telling me what type of networker you are and how you will use the tips I have suggested.

1. The Loner-

Ideally prefers spending time alone. Has a tendency to chicken out of going to events, at the last minute and can often be seen on their own or scrolling through their phone, at events. Generally finds it difficult to strike up conversation with new people.

Solution- try going to an event with an accountability buddy- someone who is also interested in building new connections and whose energy you can bounce off of. It might also be a good idea to turn off your phone, so you don’t use it as a crutch. If you can’t find someone to go with you, give yourself a goal to connect with at least 2-3 new contacts per event and then increase this goal as you get more comfortable.

2. Mo gbo mo ya/wild card-

Attends events based on how popular/fashionable they seem or how many popular people may potentially attend. May also have a tendency of dominating conversation and not listening to others

Solution-instead of attending events based on popularity, attend based on your personal career goals. Ask yourself how will attending these events help me with my career? Also prioritize getting to know more about people instead of talking about yourself.

3. The Seller-

To the seller, networking is about targeting the ideal client and making the sale there and then. It’s all about them and what they have to offer you. Even when they do build relationships, they tend to be transactional in nature. Once sale is made..it’s bye bye friendship.

Solution-unless it’s a fair or shopping event, people don’t generally attend events looking to buy a product or service, so chances are that you are ruffling feathers with your constant selling and brown nosing. Instead practice a killer introduction which clearly communicates not just what you do, but what problem you solve, who you solve it for and why it’s important. Then focus on getting to know the person and their needs.

4. The Schmoozer-

They attend events ONLY to network with VIPs. They are not interested in real connections but only in identifying people who can help them or people they believe to be on their ‘level’ or above.

Solution- think of it this way, if Dangote is in the room, everyone is trying to connect with him, but guess who is probably just as useful or as important, Dangote’s assistant/people on his team. The people who book his appointments, handle his diary and handle access to him. Instead of focusing on the one VIP, focus on making genuine connections with the people around you, you never know who might just be sitting beside you.

5. The Moderates/Awkward-

They are okay at networking and have no problem making friends. But find it awkward to ask friends for help. They are very particular about how they come across so tend never to want to look like they are struggling or need anything, even though they are occasionally happy to help others.

Solution-understand that asking for help doesn’t make you seem weak or desperate. However, there is a right and a wrong way to ask for help. For example, “Dear Tayo, I am looking for a job in your company. I am a hard working and dedicated staff”, is very different from…. “Dear Tayo, I currently have 5 years experience in branding and communications and I am seeking new career growth challenges, please let me know if and when any opportunities arise in your organization.”

6. Disconnected Networker-

They attend events and believe they are friendly and good at networking but never seem to make real connections with people. They always feel out of the loop and wonder why seeming close friends never invite them out or why they hear about events after they have happened.

Solution- start following up with connections you make and seek out people with similar values and interests to you so you can bond genuinely over things you have in common. Also prioritize sharing opportunities with others and tell those in your network about the opportunities you are looking for.

7. #TeamNoNewFriends-

You love your girls, so you go everywhere with them. You don’t attend networking events unless they attend as well, and when they do, you all sit together as a group and don’t make new friends. You also tend to feel a little unhappy/jealous when someone from your squad starts hanging with someone new.

Solution-Good friends are hard to come by, so I understand. But you need to expand your connections for your personal and career growth needs. Remembering there are people outside your current friends that know/have opportunities you need to grow, should push you to try to make new friendships. Start by not always siting with only your friends when you attend events and by starting conversations with new people and following up after the event.

8. The Connected Super Connector-

These are the Baba’s of networking. They create their own networks and connect people within their networks to others even without being asked. They are the types of people who know exactly how to leverage relationships to make things happen and are usually well liked and respected.

Solution- You are a boss! Go forth and conquer but don’t forget to help others connect through your various networks!

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