Michelle Tillis Lederman author of The 11 Laws of Likability: Relationship Networking . . . Because People Do Business with People They Like, sent me this quiz you can use to determine your networking talent.1. When you are in a group at a networking event and someone says something that you relate to, what do you do?
a. Say nothing.
b. Say nothing but make a mental note or jot it down on the back of their card.
c. Look for your opportunity to interject the thought into the conversation.
d. Interrupt with enthusiasm over the fact that you have something in common.2. When a new person wanders over to the group your are speaking with, what do you do?
b. Shift your body to give them room in the circle, make eye contact or smile.
c. Wait for an opportunity to ask them their opinion and bring them into the conversation.
d. Stop the conversation and welcome him/her in.3. How often do you eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner with a different person per week?
a. 0 times per week
b. 1 - 3 times per week
c. 4 - 6 times per week
d. > 7 times per week4. How many different organizations, groups, or clubs are you an active member in?
b. 1 - 2 organizations
c. 3 - 5 organizations
d. > 6 organizations5. What percent of the new people you meet do you follow up with?
a. < 25%
b. 26% - 49%
c. 50% - 74%
d. > 75%6. How quickly do you follow up with a new contact?
a. Within a month, if ever
b. Over a week
c. Within 2 - 4 days
d. Same or next day7. Which is the most common way you meet new people?
a. They find me.
b. Someone offers to introduce me.
c. I ask friends for warm introductions.
d. I search people out and contact them directly.8. When are you most likely to reach out to your network?
a. I don't.
b. When they reach out to me.
c. On a regular basis when there is a reason (i.e. Birthday, job opportunity, change in situation, etc.)
d. On daily basis.9. You end a conversation with someone when . . .
a. They end it with me
b. The conversation becomes stilted or I think they don't want to talk anymore.
c. When I know how I will follow up.
d. When I am ready to talk to someone else or see someone I want to talk to.10. People regularly reach out to you (check all that apply)
a. For a contact
b. For an introduction
c. To ask for a favor
d. To request you speak to a friend
e. To ask for advice
f. To request you or your services on a project
g. To say hello and catch up
h. To invite you to something
Scoring: For questions 1 — 9, score as follows:
A answers — 1 point
B answers — 2 points
C answers — 3 points
D answers — 4 points
For question 10, give yourself 1 point for every answer you circled. Total up your score and read your Networking style below.9 - 14 points: The Observer.
You tend to hang back in a crowd. You watch what is going on, but don't get involved. You never initiate and rarely follow up on making new connections. The result, your network is small and you are not in the front of people's minds as a resource. If you are uncomfortable, make slight changes. Consider making the follow up via email or through social media. If you prefer one on one — invite someone to lunch. If the group is easier at first, then tag along or ask to join a group that has room for one more at the table. Look for situations that match your style and comfort until you get used to joining in.15 - 24 points: The Reactor.
You are interested in making those new connections but feel more comfortable when someone else takes the lead. You can get stuck keeping a conversation flowing. You are responsive to others' attempts to connect and follow up more frequently when in response to something specific. You take a subtle approach though sometimes your comfort and confidence may get in your way. You are on the right track. Stretch a little more and you will gain comfort. Set a goal to initiate a conversation once a week and to find a reason to reach out to a new contact. Don't doubt they want you to — you are not the type that comes on too strong so don't worry about feeling like a nuisance.25 - 37 points: The Initiator.
You are actively networking and taking a balanced approach. You seek opportunities, include others in the conversation, and follow up regularly. People think about you for a variety of reasons and you are effectively staying in the front of their minds. Keep doing what's working.38 - 44 points: The Director.
You are strategic and methodical about networking. It is high on your priority list and you take a numbers approach. You are involved in many organizations which increases your familiarity since you or your name pops up everywhere. Your approach may feel insincere or over the top for some. Give people some breathing room and use a lighter touch when reaching out. Seek to connect beyond the surface topics that come up in business. Make sure people feel you value the time you are spending with them and not looking for the next or more interesting contact in the room. Don't pull back too much, simply consider your timing, frequency, and depth of conversation.
Toni Bowers is the former Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.