Networking for Shy Lawyers

I resurrected this list from last year because it seems very timely to introduce the networking discussion at a time when ‘new solos’ – whether by choice or circumstance – are having to ramp up their efforts.  Social media makes it easier, especially for those more shy but it doesn’t relieve them of having to engage in a meaningful way.  Enjoy!

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:

How to network: For introverts

Personal marketing for the shy

Learn to love networking

How to network if you’re shy

Networking for introverts

Networking for the shy

Power networking for introverts: Tips & techniques

Networking for shy people

How to network if you’re shy

Tips for shy people who want to meet clients at networking

Networking for the shy

Networking for shy people (pdf)

The shy guy’s guide to networking

10 networking tips for shy entrepreneurs

Networking for the terminally shy

Networking tips for shy people

Business networking strategies for the shy

Networking Tips For Shy Job Seekers

Job search techniques for shy executives

Skip Haley’s Networking Tips For Introverts

Don’t be shy: Networking tips for the timid

Networking Strategies For Shy Professionals

Advice for Reluctant Networkers

Beating Shyness In The Business World

How Do I Overcome Shyness in Marketing My Home Business?

In addition, I would recommend you absolutely read Endless Referrals by Bob Burg. (no affiliate commission) 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.

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4 comments on “Networking for Shy Lawyers

  • Love the list Susan! I fall into the formerly timid category. It may be hard to believe, but sometimes networking for me is a painful thing. Other times, I’m ready to go. To my fellow introverts (INTJ), let’s take over the world and do it one handshake at a time.

    • Chris, while some may think I’m an extravert, I’m not either. I’m assertive, not timid and happily push forward, I’m not an extravert. I’m very good one on one but need serious ‘alone’ time to regroup. Too much going on all the time drains me, does not energize me. And that is the difference as described above.

      I just found the description fascinating and the articles referenced so wonderfully helpful. Glad you loved the list.

  • A great resource list!

    There is a difference between introvert and shy. Actually you can be an introvert OR an extrovert and by shy (or not.) My own research shows that Bernardo Carducci of the Shyness Institute at Indiana University says, 40% of the population might be shy.

    Here’s kind of an acid test to determine shy or introvert at networking: when you attend events, do you hang around the edges to plug in for an energy recharge, or do you hang around the edges because you HAVE to? If you have to, you are likely shy. If you are recharging your batteries, you are likely introverted.

    We all have a preference to either – introverting or extroverting and it affects our wanting to be with people less or more.

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