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2016 PMI-LA Book Club Report - Networking for People Who Hate Networking by Devora Zack

PMILA Book Club Report:
Networking for People Who Hate Networking
By: Devora Zack

Summary: Zack asserts that networking is the art of building and maintaining connections for shared positive outcomes. She calls out the importance of working with your strengths and being yourself. The author highlights three personality types: introverts, extroverts, and centroverts. Centroverts are a combination of an introvert and an extrovert.

Review: Zack offers different approaches for each personality type. For example, the guiding principles for an introvert are: 1) Think to talk, 2) Seek depth, and 3) Energize alone. These three guiding principles align with the following supporting technique: 1) Pause, 2) Process, and 3) Pace.

Whereas, the guiding principles for an extrovert are: 1) Talk to think, 2) Seek breadth, and 3) Energize with others. Likewise, the supporting technique for extroverts are as follows: 1) Patter, 2) Promote, and 3) Party. Needless to say, introverts and extroverts do share differences in personality traits and networking styles. As an example, excellent advice for introverts is to smile more when networking because it does not require talking, eliminates being labeled as being standoffish, gives the perception of confidence, serves as an invitation for others to approach you in conversations, and it makes you happy. Furthermore, it is important to use the “Platinum rule: Treat others how they want to be treated.” When there is an increased understanding it leads to an increased appreciation for opposites. To accomplish the Platinum rule: 1) quickly assess another person’s natural preferences, 2) modify own interactive style to complement others.

Zack stresses the importance of remembering people’s name. A noteworthy tip involves a technique for remembering names. Suggestions for remembering people’s name include, but not limited to: 1) focus all your attention on the person in front of you, 2) repeat the person’s name up to three times during your first conversation, 3) when first introduced look directly into the other person’s eyes, 4) make associations (associate the name with another person, unfamiliar names ask the origin, clarify the pronunciation, remember a son with the name, say the name lyrically in your head), 5) write a summary of information shortly after the initial interaction (where you met, what discussed, how to follow up), and 6) recall someone famous with the same name.

Another good tip is to prepare a 30-second elevator pitch introducing yourself. The initial sentence should have pizazz and the elevator pitch should include what you do, like to do, what sets you apart, and what inspires you about your work.

Pros/Cons: The book was an easy read, but the feedback from peers were mixed. One reviewer states, although there were numerous tips and exercises throughout the book, it all bled together because of lack of organization. Everyone thought our previous book by Zack, “Getting More Done One Thing at a Time” was far superior.

The PMILA Book Club Rating: 2.6 out of a possible score of 5.

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