Why people dislike networking might come from a number of reasons.
Some say, "they are not people persons", some find networking artificial and some find it guilty of manipulating others for serving their agenda. First of all these all are myths.
Networking is the most genuine medium to create mutually beneficial business and professional relationships. In my career span as a networking coach, I have seen people transform from networking-averse to networking stars.
Sharing 7 'F' -Fundamental strategies for those who hate networking.
1. Change the Film.
Make the movie that you would like to watch.
Before you even set out for the event, visualize yourself as the star of the event. See yourself as talking to people, laughing and smiling, and making friends.
2. Go for Friendlier and Smaller groups.
Do formal setups stress you out?
Look for the friendlier informal groups where people are more likely to be warm and don't focus too much on your accomplishments. Once you start feeling comfortable, you can move on to the more formal professional meet-ups.
3. Forget about Sales
Be reasonable to yourself. Don't be under pressure to convert the first few networking meet-ups into sales. Set the intention of networking to have some great interactions and focus on building relationships with people.
4. Make it about Fun.
Forget the pressure and remember the smile. Put your cool glasses on and set your agenda to have fun. No need for an elevator pitch. Just be yourself. Few hands shake, friendly (don't get over-friendly or over funny), and just start off.
If too nervous, take your bestie along who will cheer with you. When people see you are having fun, they would love to join the company.
5. Find meaning.
If you seek, you will find it. Find meaning in what people do. Make them talk about it and their accomplishments. You will soon start liking it.
6. Focus on quality than quantity.
Networking is not a number Game. Go and meet a few good people you like. You may be on the way to making some beautiful friendships. The whole idea of professional networking is about building strong professional relationships.
7. Better Follow up than fading out.
Out of sight is out of mind. Don't let these beautiful relationships go by not staying in touch. Connect again and again and again.
Please note that you are not alone. Most people are not natural networkers. They too feel uncomfortable in networking professionally. It is a skill that most people develop over time.