In the episode of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk about a topic that is of the utmost importance to civil engineering professionals which is relationship building. I will look at it from the perspective of someone that is not comfortable networking, whether they are shy, an “introvert”, or they’re just uncomfortable in social settings, and provide three actions that they can take to help improve your networking skills as a civil engineer.
Here Are Three Actions You Can Take to Improve Your Networking Skills as a Civil Engineer:
1. Focus on Your Conversational Skills
Just because you are a shy person doesn’t mean you can’t engage in meaningful conversation. However, sometimes it may be harder for you to initiate a conversation. Create a list of questions that you can use to start and maintain engaging conversations. For example, instead of saying, “Good morning” or “How are you,” considering leading with “What’s on your mind lately?” Think about the difference in responses well-thought-out questions will yield. By being more intentional in your conversations, you will become a better communicator and improve your networking skills as a civil engineer.
2. Present as Often as Possible
Public speaking is such an important action for one to take in their career because the benefits of it are numerous. Through presentations, you can inform large groups of people, gain project approvals, secure new business for your firm, and so on. However, public speaking also makes you a better communicator, because it forces you to really think through how your present concepts sound. You might also consider seeking help on this one by joining a public speaking group like Toastmasters International.
3. Build Your Confidence
Being shy can hold you back in your communication efforts, but only if you let it. Increasing confidence can help you overcome the fear or anxiety that your shy nature may create. You can build confidence by taking steps one and two outlined above, especially number two. The more you get out there and communicate, the better you will feel about doing it again. I have found that lack of confidence, more than anything (even being shy), is what truly holds people back in their careers and lives. It is imperative that you build yours.
Engineering Leadership Accelerator – People Skills Course
Project Management Accelerator – PM Skills Course
The Seller-Doer Academy for Civil Engineers
Ask Anthony: How do I improve my communication skills if I am a shy person?
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you can share on building your networking skills as a civil engineer.
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To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success