Devora Zack, an avowed introvert and a successful consultant who speaks to thousands of people every year, found that most networking advice books assume that to succeed you have to become an extrovert. Or at least learn how to fake it. Not at all. There is another way.
This book shatters stereotypes about people who dislike networking. They’re not shy or misanthropic. Rather, they tend to be reflective—they think before they talk. They focus intensely on a few things rather than broadly on a lot of things. And they need time alone to recharge. Because they’ve been told networking is all about small talk, big numbers and constant contact, they assume it’s not for them.
But it is! Zack politely examines and then smashes to tiny fragments the “dusty old rules” of standard networking advice. She shows how the very traits that ordinarily make people networking-averse can be harnessed to forge an approach that is just as effective as more traditional approaches, if not better. And she applies it to all kinds of situations, not just formal networking events. After all, as she says, life is just one big networking opportunity—a notion readers can now embrace.
Summary: Networking for People Who Hate Networking Rating: 5
Most books that I have read that discuss introverts and extroverts tend to talk in stereotypes. Introverts are seen as shy, cold, and slow witted. Extroverts are seen as the life of the party, fun, and social. Indeed, there truly are key differences between introverts and extroverts. However, both have strengths and limitations. When we recognize this fact and start using what we have, we find that even networking isn't as bad as we think.
Right from the start, Networking for People who Hate Networking states that what we all view as networking comes from a very narrow viewpoint. Yes, extroverts thrive in situations where they meet new people, mingle, take business cards, and talk, talk, talk. However, so long as an introvert understands his or her need for me-time and self care, he or she will enjoy meeting people with common interests, having one on one conversations, and create long term relationships. Quality versus quantity. It all evens out in the end.
I was fascinated by this book. As an introvert I very much enjoy being with people, talking, learning new things, and having new experiences. I just get physically drained by too much for too long. I simply can't sustain what seems to energize my extrovert husband. Know yourself and use what you have.
Summary: Networking Brilliance Rating: 5
Wow, this book hits the nail on the head! We don't all march to the same drummer and it's helpful to become aware of how different individuals respond to similar situations. It's a valuable read for all personality types, told with expertise, humor, real life examples, and practical exercises. The penguin illustrations are a charming touch for how 'not to be left out in the cold!'
Summary: Improve Your Business Life AND Your Personal Life Rating: 5
Devora Zack's book, Networking for People Who Hate Networking, is far more than a handy guide on how to work a room. The book offers insights into what makes us who we are and how to use those traits to be successful in business and, if you care to look deeper, in our day to day lives. As Zack points out, Networking is really about connecting with people. Learning how you, and those you interact with, are "wired" opens the door to a whole new world of connectivity, whether it is around a networking event buffet, on an airplane or in your own home. This easy to read, often humorous book provides you with this knowledge as well as simple tips, learning activities and more. A++