Business Networking: What Archetype Are You?

Posted on November 7th 2012 by Lina Arseneault

One of my personal professional goals is to attend at least twelve business networking events throughout the year. Many people prefer face-to-face networking over online based networking – I am not one of them. I’m far more comfortable with virtual schmoozing or rubbing of digital elbows. Is it a wonder that social media makes my heart sing!

In chapter two of Tipping Point, Malcom Gladwell describes three types of special people:

  • connectors (glue),

  • mavens (content) and

  • salespeople (persuasion).

I’m not shy and I’m a great public speaker (in fact, I love public speaking).  I’m simply not one of those natural in person cocktail “connectors”… but bring digital into the mix and the situation is quite different.   Isn’t it time to consider that some people might not be the same archetype in person as they are in an online setting?   One thing is for sure, I am not a salesperson type in either setting, never have, never will be! I’d describe myself as a maven (data and content are my thing) and hybrid-connector (in-person introvert / online extravert).

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Of my twelve networking events goal, I’m aiming for a distribution of about eight in-person (outside my comfort zone) and the balance as online or hybrid events.

And so, early in October, I accepted an exclusive invitation from SAP in concert with Diversity Week at the company. The Palo Alto based event featured a presentation by Barbara Annis, world-renowned gender specialist.  Following Barbara’s “Great Minds Think Unalike” lecture, there would be a Get to Know Us networking party with key executives.

Four things intrigued me about the SAP invitation:

1.      The title of the event: A Celebration of Female Talent

2.      There would be a lecture to celebrate diversity and inclusion in the workplace (I wouldn’t have to schmooze during that time!)

3.      Executives would be on hand at the networking party, and

4.      Most importantly, I am a huge fan of Michael Brenner.

Michael is the author of B2B Marketing Insider, the co-founder of Business 2 Community and also serves as Sr. Director of Integrated Marketing and Content Strategy for SAP where he is the founding editor for the SAP Business Innovation blog. Isn’t it interesting how my perception of Michael is both as SAP brand ambassador and industry expert? Corporations that embrace the social era will want to have many Michael’s – the more the better.

Join The 1% And Become A Content Creator by Michael Brenner

Your Employee Is an Online Celebrity. Now What Do You Do? - via @WSJ

Same Words, Different Language: How Men and Women Misunderstand each other at Work and What to do About It

Barbara was very engaging around making the case for gender intelligence.  She presented findings and case studies that illustrate how gender differences are complementary and help create competitive advantage.  Much of her material is based on her second book “Same Words, Different Language: How Men and Women Misunderstand each other at Work and What to do About It”.

Barbara’s lecture was certainly thought provoking and provided a great platform to open networking conversations (I was thankful for that).  The networking event was exceptional and I’m glad I attended.  Truth be known, after the fact, I’m always very pleased with in person events I attend … I just have to push myself to go.

Little did I know that I would have more exposure to SAP the following night at SVTweetUp, a hybrid in-person and online event.  More on that in a follow-on post.

What’s your archetype profile? Does it differ between online and in-person? Add your comments below.

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Additional Information

Clive Thompson on the Power of Introversion

Wired Magazine | April 2012

Guy Kawasaki, by all appearances, seems like an outgoing guy. A former Apple “evangelist,” he’s an omnipresent voice online, blogging his ideas about entrepreneurship and tweeting 40 times a day to his half-million followers.

But a few years ago he posted a surprising 140-character revelation. “You may find this hard to believe,” Kawasaki wrote, “but I am an introvert. I have a ‘role’ to play, but fundamentally I am a loner.” His followers were gobsmacked.”

Continue reading at Clive Thompson on the Power of Introversion.

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Cafélina uses Royalty free images

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Comments

  1. Great article Lina. So important to find our special type to get our word out there to the community. I am more a connector than maven so look forward to learning from you. Best, Tiff

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