Looking to network like a boss? Networking is one of those words that many people typically cringe at the thought of and horrible images of speed dating and speaking to an audience initially come to mind. But, some of the best networkers I know are actually very introverted people. In fact, many people would never guess that I'm a fairly introverted person and need my alone time to recharge after seminars and networking events.
The key to networking is to be empathetic. Whenever you are in a networking opportunity, you should be thinking about ways you can help those people in front of you without worrying about what you will get out of it. Ask them questions about their business or projects they are working on right now. Ask them questions about recent activities they have done like trips or events. Skip the small talk as most awkward pauses and moments come from that part, and just let them talk about themselves. Those people will remember you for the right reason afterward and human nature will lead them back to thinking of you when they need something you can provide.