How to build a network and talk when you are really shy?

alicialuu's profile thumbnail
I used to be shy talking to people, but really you’re just getting to know them and finding common ground.Just ask how they’re doing and if they did anything fun over the weekend. Read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People
Thank you. I will read the book.
sharonking's profile thumbnail
Congrats on your new job! I've worked on a mostly remote team for a few years now. It was probably slower to get to know each other at first but now I'm really good friends with some of my team. I also find that if you are speaking one on one with one of your teammates ask them how their day is going and then let the conversation progress naturally to what you are doing when you get done with work. You will get to know each others lives as you build on your calls over time.
Thank you so much for your advice.
maggiewolff's profile thumbnail
Does your company have internal groups? Like a women's group, etc? That's been a good avenue for me to meet others and start networking. You could also ask your boss if there are good folks for you to connect with, they might have some suggestions. Also, some companies do random coffee chat pairings, sometimes organized through the Slack app, see if your company does - and if they don't, maybe suggest it! Or you can reach out yourself to folks and ask if they'd like to meet up for a virtual coffee.
I also communicate more if there is women's group but the company is at a very inital stage so there are less employees so the number of women employees is also less. Maybe I will try that coffee pairing idea. Thank you.
There are many places to join ERG's in companies and also to do public speaking classes as well. Join meetups that are interesting to you both in professional and personal interests. Give yourself a treat everytime you step out of your comfort zone and write down a short story about you that you can tell to folks when you meet them. For example: Hi my name is Wai and I grew up in XXX and really enjoy XXX and I am looking to meet other like minded people who can help me to XXX and I can in return share my love for XXX. Then ask them to tell you their story, often that is the surest way to engage others.Good luck and get out there! It's not as scary as it might seem.
One of the reason I joined Elpha was the purpose of talk to more women and learn how to grow a network. Thank you for your pointers and I will follow it.
I'm still pretty shy as well! Honestly it just takes practice and putting yourself out there as much as you can. It can be uncomfortable at times but it's difficult to really improve if you don't. In the past, I'd have a really hard time doing small talk and being in the presence of others and I wouldn't say anything at all but I'd force myself to go to outings until I finally felt comfortable going. Then, I worked on actually being able to talk to others which came from listening in on how others communicate with each other and it did take a while. Also note that once you get comfortable doing something try to add more mini-goals for yourself to achieve. I still have a lot to work on but it definitely takes practice and I've improved so much over the years from just forcing myself to face my anxiety!Even for networking, I'd give the same advice forcing yourself to go to networking events if even if you don't say much will probably help give you the confidence to ultimately speak to others at those events even if it takes several events/conferences for you to get there!If your company does campus outreach at universities or conferences, I'd encourage you to go do those as well. You probably have a lot of knowledge about your own company and even for presentations or mentoring, they'll give you a script/rules to go off of so it can kind of give you practice in being comfortable in those situations since its a bit more prescriptive and you know what the goal and event is about. I do these a lot at my company in order to practice my presentation skills and it's helped a lot with my social anxiety as well.Good luck! You got this :)
Thank you. Thats a really good point I will try to implement it.
ekuacant's profile thumbnail
Congrats on starting your new job. I agree there has been some great advice given already. I'd say practice in the Elpha community and sign up for the Elpha Meet and meet other women in this community. Learn to build up that muscle and build in an opportunity per week to practice. I agree asking for some virtual coffee chats with people in your team and asking for a recommendation from your boss. In situations where there are virtual team socials perhaps you could volunteer to help organise one. To that you'll need to talk with your team mates about what they enjoy and have done in the past.You may also find Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers a helpful book to help you gain confidence in this area.Well Done on taking this step, I'm sure you're doing better than you think. So don't be too hard on yourself.
Thank you so much for your guidance. Does elpha has meetups on a regular basis and if so where would I find that information?
ekuacant's profile thumbnail
@Wai86 You're welcome. Check out Elpha Meet here: - Also check the threads and see if there is local Elpha meetup for your area like Elpha's in NYC, there was a recent thread about that too! Also there is an Elpha welcome and networking session you can join here: this helps. :)
Thank you for all your help.