Walking into a crowded room of strangers with the expectation of gaining new business connections can be a daunting task for anyone. Introverts may find it challenging to initiate a conversation, while extroverts may find it difficult to give others an opportunity to speak in the conversation.
In a gathering that is supposed to work as a business-building networking event, how do you mingle? More importantly, how do you mingle for success?
Many believe that you need to be loud, funny, and full of energy to be noticed in a room full of people. This is not always the case, especially for different personality profiles.
The key is to overcome your networking fears by socializing in a way that best suits your personality strengths while having the self-awareness to flex your personality style to mirror the person you are building rapport with.
While it’s not easy for most styles to leave their comfort zone, here are some tips for each DISC style to help build connections with confidence.
Dominant “D” Personalities: “D” DISC personalities are known to be the DISC profiles’ dominant styles. They have natural leadership abilities that make it easy for them to initiate a conversation. The central aspect for a “D” to keep in mind, though, is the approach. At times, this personality in the DISC model can be intimidating by coming across as too strong, too direct, or intrusive. These DISC personality profiles should aim to have a softer approach when building relationships by being positive and empathetic if the conversation is steered in that direction. Smiling and showing interest in others by asking open-ended questions can also help soften their approach.
Influential “I” Personalities: “I’s” this is your time to shine. Yes, “I” styles are known to be social butterflies in groups, but they still need to proceed with caution. An “I’s” desire to socialize and be the center of attention could be so intense at times that they can overpower a conversation. “I” types in conversation should practice their listening skills, ask a person to expand on a subject they are speaking about, and most importantly, do not interrupt while someone is still talking. Making people feel comfortable is a vital strength of an “I” personality. Once they make adjustments to their communication habits, they are bound to make an abundance of strong relationships in a crowded room.
Steady “S” Personalities: One of the biggest strengths of the “S” personality style is their friendliness. It can be challenging for these types of DISC personality profiles to adjust to a new environment or to initiate a conversation without a co-worker by their side. Even though starting a conversation alone can stem as tricky, once an “S” feels comfortable, they will be a natural listener, confident, and very understanding. “S” types are also very patient, making them more apt to give other personality profiles the chance to create a relationship. Try to initiate a conversation by conversing about a similar work interest or complimenting a piece of jewelry or clothing a networking colleague is wearing.
Conscientious “C” Personalities: Just because “C” behavioral styles are not known for being social does not mean they cannot build strong professional relationships. “C” types have high standards, not only for assignments and daily tasks but also for their work relationships. One aspect that “C” personalities must resist is perfection. Meaning you do not have to know every detail about a person, and you do not have to ask a certain amount of questions. Relationships are not formulaic. “C” DISC personalities are encouraged to take baby steps when building rapport with someone. Begin with asking open-ended questions or sharing an interesting statistic, such as, “Did you know as much as 70% of shyness traits are not genetic, but instead a reaction to our environment?”