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C styles: 10 networking tips

5 min read

People of all personality types have innate networking strengths—not just extroverts. Networking is a realm that goes far beyond industry happy hours. It can also be writing blog posts, lending your expertise to a community organization, attending game nights at the local library, or contributing to online discussion forums. Here are some networking tips for DiSC C-style people—strategies for building authentic connections without sapping all your energy.

These tips are based on your Everything DiSC style, but take note, too, of the other person’s personality style in networking situations. There are ways you can subtly stretch toward their style while remaining true to yourself. Stretching in this way often helps build and strengthen connections.

See also: networking tips for D, i, and S types.

Networking tips for DiSC C-style people

If you have a C style in Everything DiSC, you are likely conscientious, analytical, and precise. You’re motivated by displaying your competency, and less keen on displaying enthusiasm. You can improve your networking skills by leaning into your strengths, such as your knack for mastering new skills, and developing the traits that take more energy for you, such as charm and optimism.

Networking tips for DiSC C-style people:

  1. Showcase your competency.

    If you’re like most C-type people, you have high standards for yourself. Rather than relying on persuasion to influence others, you let the quality of your work speak for itself. You like to be prepared, so you always do your homework, ensuring you show up to each new situation knowledgeable and confident. Not everyone has your diligence, so it is sure to impress.

  2. Assess what you can and can’t control.

    Like the conscientious person you are, you’ve shown up at the conference/mixer/interview/workgroup rigorously prepared. But then someone throws the agenda out the window and decides to improvise. Humans are often unpredictable. When you’re networking, many things are out of your control. It’s difficult, but remember that while you can control your own actions and choices, you can’t always control the outcomes of a situation. Try to let go of the need for perfection when possible. (Easier said than done, I know. I’m an SC-type person with a lot of C traits, so I’m speaking to myself as much as anyone.)

  3. Activate your C-style powers of organization.

    Yes, networking can sometimes mean schmoozing at the breakfast table. But also, a big part of networking is researching, analyzing details, and staying organized. Many traits that feel natural to you are difficult for other people. Your C superpowers will be welcome in many spaces. For example, perhaps you offer to take the lead on a complex project for your professional association or alumni group. You could consult with a local nonprofit in your area of expertise, helping them see things in a different way. Or, you can set a goal of reaching out to a certain number of people on LinkedIn and tracking the responses—a great excuse to make a spreadsheet (yay!).

  4. Think about relationship-building.

    C-style people tend to be less focused on relationships than i and S styles. If you’re networking with a people-focused person, try to stretch a bit in their direction. Notice when someone is trying to get to know you better. You don’t have to get too personal, even if that’s what they would prefer, but you can practice empathy and meet them halfway. You may not love small talk, but remember that that is how some people get comfortable and orient themselves in social situations.

  5. Call upon your objective nature.

    Networking presents many situations where an objective mindset is helpful: identifying the critical facts of a confusing situation, distancing yourself from your own biases, allowing skepticism to show you possible problems, etc. Invoke your natural objectivity to help you navigate networking spaces with a rational lens.

  6. Realize that some people may find you difficult to read.

    Because C-style people have a natural restraint rather than an overly-expressive communication style, they can be hard to read at times. I’ve received this feedback a lot. If you have, too, keep that in mind when meeting new people and making deeper connections. You may need to articulate your thoughts rather than assume people know what you’re thinking. An inexpressive demeanor may seem unfriendly to people who are more outgoing. With those folks, assure them that you enjoy their company and are happy to be connecting (or whatever the specifics of the relationships are).

  7. Offer praise and compliments.

    People of other DiSC styles seek approval more than C styles do. So, it might not always occur to you to validate and praise others. You don’t need to be insincere; just remind yourself to say something when you’ve noticed someone’s good work. In my career, I’ve found that nothing hits quite like a compliment from a C-style colleague. Their praise is often specific in a way I find useful. More importantly, I know they wouldn’t say it if they didn’t mean it. I know I’ve met their high standards.

  8. Embrace your stubbornness resilience.

    People with C styles are often resilient, priding themselves on facing challenges head-on. They are goal-oriented and not easily swayed by obstacles. This determination and persistence will serve you well in many areas of life, including networking. Some people you encounter may find your assertiveness and frankness to be intimidating. Read the situation and soften your approach as needed, but keep moving toward what you want. Cheers to tenacity!

  9. Seek feedback.

    Ask for feedback on your networking approach from trusted colleagues or mentors. Constructive feedback can help you refine your strategies and improve your effectiveness. Offer to return the favor, whether they’d like your feedback on networking or another topic.

  10. Leave room for surprises.

    It’s helpful to know your networking goals and have a plan for how to achieve them. But if you’re overfocused on executing the plan, you can miss out on opportunities that arise from organic conversation. Or even from—dare I suggest it?—going with the flow. Love the plan, but hold it with a loose grip. Keep your eyes and your mind open for useful and interesting surprises.

Our C-style staff member says:

For my fellow C-style people, I would recommend trying to see beyond the flaws in a person’s presentation, since a C style will be quick to pick up on mistakes, and may miss a good point. A C style may also be quick to leave without networking, because overly chatty situations can be exhausting for a more reserved person.

I would also recommend stepping outside their comfort zone and taking a chance, even without knowing what the outcome may be, as their natural extinct leads them to more predictable and planned situations. Overall, stretching into the other styles may allow them to experience a great networking opportunity that would otherwise be missed if only leaning on the nature of a C style.

Networking tips for DiSC C-style people

Using DiSC for personalized networking tips

Self-awareness is the foundation of successful interpersonal endeavors. Learn what traits and mindsets are innate for you, why that is, and what it means about the way you interact with the world. Then, learn about how people with other personality types experience the world. Tools like Everything DiSC give you action steps for improving communication with people of all styles.

If you’re new to DiSC, take the Everything DiSC Workplace assessment first. If you’d like to continue your personal development, consider Everything DiSC Sales, which will help you understand your powers of persuasion. To develop your emotional intelligence, look to Everything DiSC Agile EQ.

You don’t have to be an extrovert to be good at networking and to see useful results. Just focus most your energy on what feels comfortable and aligns with your strengths, and the rest of your energy on pushing yourself a bit to try new things. With the right mindset, networking can be enjoyable and fruitful.


Avery Harris-Gray

SC style, NY based. Writing about Everything DiSC and The Five Behaviors since 2020. Leadership style: humble. EQ mindset: composed. I always have snacks to share.

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