Networking for People Who Hate Networking

advocacy leadership sustainable resources Jan 10, 2022
Networking for People who Hate Networking


Let’s face it: many of us dread networking.


But networking is important for at least three critical reasons according to research:

  1. the majority of jobs in our sectors are not posted but become known through networking;
  2. an emerging competence for leaders is their ability to develop their network, through special projects, temporary assignments, and community involvement, among others; and
  3. the ability to advance your mission is dependent on influence which is dependent on networks.


You might hate it. But you have to do it. So make it easy on yourself!


Books to Help Make Networking Easy


There are a plethora of well-recommended books to help, from How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships, by Leil Lowndes (McGraw-Hill), to those that seem written especially for the more shy among us (whether introverts or extraverts):

The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World,  by Marti Olsen Laney (Workman) and

Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed and the Underconnected, by Devora Zack (Berrett-Koehler).


Of course you should Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty, The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need, by Harvey Mackey (Currency Books) and if in doubt, get Networking: All-in-One for Dummies, by Doug Lowe (For Dummies; several editions).


Personally, I prefer Work The Pond: Use the Power of Positive Networking to Leap Forward in Work and Life, by Darcy Rezac, Judy Thompson and Gayle Hallgren-Rezac (Prentice Hall), for its focus on the positive and its straightforward advice.


The authors, whom I now know (through networking!) also walk the talk.


I have used this book with graduate students, professionals and corporate leaders, all of whom have been taken with the ease of getting started and being successful. Here is the essence:



N – Never Leave Home Without Them (meaning business cards, the key transaction);

E – The Four Es: Establish eye contact, Extend your hand, Exchange business cards, Engage in conversation;

T – Travel in Pairs (it is just easier and more comfortable);

W – Working the Pond, Positively (it is all about what you can do for the other person, not about you);

O – Opportunity is Everywhere (believe it!);

R – Repeat, Repeat, Repeat;

K – Keep it Going (practice breeds comfort with success).


The cover is below in case you want to click through to purchase. I highly recommend it.


The authors also have a website ( free resources such as Top Networking Challenges Solved! in which they asked their Positive Networking® tip readers for their top networking challenges. There were plenty of them! They took their top ten and provided solutions. They may be your challenges too. (


And a weekly tip on networking, Positive Networking®,  delivered free to your mailbox:






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P.S. May I ask a tiny favour? 

Would you mind sharing this blog with one person? I would love it. You can post the links in your Facebook Groups, LinkedIn or even send an email.

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