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What Kind of Networker Are You?

By Jonathan Farrington

Before you even begin to look at engaging seriously in networking efforts, it is useful to look at your own temperament or disposition. This is the individual’s internal desire to network and to find value and enjoyment from the whole process of building relationships.

For some people this will be an almost irrelevant issue to debate. Their motivation to want to talk to people regularly and to network is naturally high. Talking to strangers in supermarket queues, at bus/train stops or even in the elevators is characteristic of such people.

However, even if you really enjoy talking to people, it is a proven fact that most of us are not highly confident and highly motivated networkers. In fact, statistics reveal that only one in ten people are actually comfortable in striking up a relationship with a complete stranger.

Unfortunately, this means that their own misgivings, fears and doubts potentially hinder the vast majority of people.

Four Networking Types

In practice, you can divide people who attempt to build networking relationships into four distinct types.

  • The Loner (little or no networking)
  • The Socializer
  • The User
  • The Relationship Builder

Although our aim is to consider the fourth of these in some detail as the role to which we can all aspire (if we are not already there), let’s briefly look at each of these types in turn.