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Pages tagged "Introversion"


Networking tips for people who hate mixers

main.jpgThe schedule said the speaking event started at 5:30. I had a class at 6:30. If I left a little early, I could catch most of the panel on generational interaction in the workplace. I showed up a little before 5:30 and was ready to go.

But 5:30 rolled around, and it didn’t look like things were going to start anytime soon. 5:35 comes and goes and people are milling around, chatting and networking. I asked one of the people working the welcome table when the panel would start.

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An introvert’s game plan for a purposeful conference experience

introvert.jpgAs a self-described introvert, I’ve looked forward to conferences with great anticipation and a little bit of dread. Ranging from packed all-day affairs to week-long marathons, nonprofit conferences are a great way to learn and share dialogue with a group of people from diverse backgrounds and strengths who are passionate about the sector and their communities.

From my time as an AmeriCorps VISTA (yay PSO!) beginning my nonprofit career to positions with more leadership potential, I have attended a wide variety of conferences. When I register, I’m super excited to look at sessions, speakers, and hear which of my colleagues will be attending. But just a few days out, I inevitably think, “Gosh, I know there’s going to be so much to learn and so many people to talk to, but how am I ever going to be ‘on’ for this long?”

At the beginning of my career, I decided to attend conferences with a “play it by ear” attitude, and often left them at the end of the day with introverts’ guilt of feeling left out or that I wasted some really good opportunities to learn and make connections with new colleagues, mentors, potential future employers, and all around super cool people.

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Becoming Leaderly

Elizabeth Fei is a participant in the new Leadership Institute put on by YNPN-TC and EPIP-MN, which launched in April 2014.

On night one of the inaugural EPIP-YNPN Leadership Institute kick-off retreat, we experienced a World Café discussion, where I offered to play table host (mostly so that I wouldn’t have to switch tables). After hearing the amazing thoughts of my fellow cohort members, I was so humbled and weighed-down with the immense responsibility of capturing, then harvesting their oh-so-insightful nuggets. When it came time to share, I turned to my tablemates, silently asking their permission.

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The perks of being a wallflower: Networking solo

main.jpgI moved to the Twin Cities a little over a year ago to be closer to my (then) shiny new job, to be able to make more friends and live the exciting life in the Big City. I had a huge list of all the things I was going to see and do once I moved into my new apartment in Minneapolis: I was going to try all the awesome restaurants! I was going to visit all the museums! I was going to be a regular in downtown!

...Except I’m super shy and sort of terrified of going to new places by myself. I didn’t have any friends that lived in the Cities, so if I wanted to go anywhere I’d have to go alone, or wait for a friend to be available to drive and see me. What’s an introvert to do?

Enter the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities.

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Confessions of a new board chair

Can I be honest? Sometimes a new leadership opportunity doesn’t feel like a thrilling adventure, or a great next step in your career path. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like a long-awaited chance to use your skills.

Sometimes it feels just, well, scary.

Maybe it’s unexpected. Maybe you don’t feel prepared. But there you find yourself and you have a choice. Say no, or face your fears and accept the challenge.

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The 4-step program for successfully networking as an introvert

Co-written by Jamie Millard and Chris Oien

main.jpgNetworking is important. You know that, and we know that. It’s pretty much a given. But what do you do if just the thought of networking makes you want to crawl into a hole? We’ve both been there, because we are two of the roughly 25% of people who are introverts. 

When it came time for each of us to go to our first YNPN networking event, we debated whether or not to go, and eventually skipped out—leaving a sick feeling in our stomachs. We later did get involved with YNPN; and when we met each other, we realized we had both bailed on the same event. While it had been a lonely experience, neither of us was alone in it, and knowing that was a huge relief. 

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