It's a rough time of year for wall flowers. With holiday party season almost upon us, shyer types are about to be bombarded with invites to various festive gatherings and other get-togethers. If you're less than confident in your social skills, these aren't so much opportunities for enjoyment and networking, as occasions for serious stress.
Page 19 wants to help. The blog from Blinkist has a clever premise -- for each post it combs through a variety of books on a subject, pulling out nuggets of wisdom while also offering the titles as suggestions for further reading. Recently, it tackled the ever thorny problem of effective, authentic networking.
"It's an indisputable fact that personal contacts open doors. One classic study, outlined in the book Getting a Job, showed that among the 282 men surveyed, 56 percent had found their jobs through personal contacts, whereas only 19 percent had found theirs through job advertisements and 10 percent through applications of their own initiative," says the post.
But if you have the less-than-minor problem of not liking networking, this fact won't do you any good, so Page 19 goes on to recommend seven great reads for the networking phobic, including:
Give and Take by Adam Grant
What can you learn from this much discussed book by the high-profile Wharton professor? Among other things, the idea of "powerless communication."
"Powerless communication involves focusing on the other person; for example, by seeking advice and asking questions. Rather than being domineering, which evokes resistance, this softer approach has a remarkably persuasive effect," explains the post.
The Introverted Leader by Jennifer Kahnweiler
Not only can introverts excel at networking, but extroverts can even learn a few things from them, according to this recommended read. "It sounds crazily simple, but just focus on one-on-one conversation. This allows you to get to know the other person in depth, and increase rapport by adapting to each person's need," says Page 19, summarizing one lesson of the book.
Mastermind Dinners by Jayson Gaignard
Want to take your networking up a notch? Here's a suggestion: "Being a guest at a hosted dinner with people is one thing. But organizing the dinner yourself is an opportunity for both having a nice, relaxed time and networking on a whole new level." According to the post, this book offers all sorts of tips for would-be hosts, such as limiting the size of your dinner to four to eight guests.
Strategic Connections by Anne Baber, Lynne Waymon, Andr Alphonso and Jim Wylde
This book is full of tips on how to build genuine, trusting relationships. Page 19 shares one: "When it's time to end the conversation with a new contact, find a way to turn it into a greater networking opportunity, both for you and for them, by broadening the circle... ask them to introduce you to someone in your field. For example, if you're an architect, just ask if they know anyone at the conference who is also involved in architecture. You could also introduce your new contact to others."