Extroverts may seemingly enter the networking oasis of APA with an advantage to our introverted counterparts. Networking can seem effortless when you love to meet new people and thrive in high-energy environments. Presentations and social hours may also cause little to no anxiety. However, I give a word caution to my fellow extroverts. Our presumed advantage could betray us if we are not careful to avoid some potential extrovert pitfalls.
- Yak Yak Yak: We have a lot to say, and we love to say it! As an extrovert, try to be aware of how much space you are taking up in Q & A sessions as well as informal conversation. Take a break if you realize you’ve been talking a while – also avoid interrupting! Monopolizing conversation can leave a bad impression on others, particularly introverts!
- Talk first, think later: In all the excitement to engage in social interaction, extroverts can fall victim to talking first and figuring out why we are talking second…. As a woman accustomed to rambling (as pointed out by my partner, my mother, my advisor, my brothers, to name a few) speaking without a purpose can leave us looking unpolished and scatter-brained. So pull your thoughts together and speak with intention and clarity.
- YOU’RE GREAT! YOUR RESEARCH IS GREAT! EVERYTHING’S GREAT! Does anyone else regularly find themselves at the highest level of excitement?! Remember that in a professional setting, you may need to reign in overly-raucous laughter and fan-girl displays of excitement better suited for DisneyWorld or Comic-Con.
- Loud Talker: Related to heightened demonstrations of excitement is the propensity to speak with excessive volume. Apparently, I never internalized my “inside voice” from elementary school and occasionally shout at people in normal conversation. (True story: My parents thought I had a hearing problem as a child because I spoke so loud.) I recommend asking for feedback from others to see if you may also be afflicted as a loud talker.
- Extrovert v. Extrovert Challenge: Do not get baited into trying to be life of the party (particularly at social events). Remember, all attention is not good attention, and your inner stand-up comedian may need to take a break while you are engaging in professional networking.