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i styles: 10 networking tips

5 min read

Networking encompasses many activities, from conferences to social media to book clubs to mentoring and beyond. Here are some networking tips for DiSC i-style people—strategies for tapping into the joy of building connections while staying focused on your goals.

These tips are based on your Everything DiSC style, but when networking, you should also be aware of the personality of the other person or people. Stretching toward another’s style is a great way to connect with them, and you can do so while remaining true to your natural personality.

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

Networking tips for DiSC i-style people

If you have an i style in Everything DiSC, you are likely social, enthusiastic, and persuasive. You’re motivated by novelty and excitement, and less keen on details and follow-through. You can improve your networking skills by leaning into your strengths, such as relationship-building and charm, and developing the traits that take more energy for you, such as objectivity and dependability.

Networking tips for DiSC i-style people:

  1. Leverage your sociability.

    As someone with an i style, a friendly disposition likely comes naturally to you. It’s easy for you to find things in common with someone you just met and you have a genuine interest in other people. What feels natural to you can be quite intimidating for other people. Take advantage of your social strengths by initiating conversations and relationships, introducing people you think would get along, and letting your upbeat attitude make more reserved people feel welcome in networking spaces.

  2. Don’t take it all too personally.

    Because relationships are so important to you, it’s hard for you not to dwell on interactions where you felt rejected or dismissed. But remember that people may have their reason—many having nothing to do with you—for not meeting your warmth with warmth. In addition, they may not realize they made you feel slighted. You may assume more of a personal bond in certain situations than the other person feels.

  3. Eat the frog.

    Everyone finds some aspects of networking more exciting than others. As an i-type person, you’d probably rather be chatting at a group lunch than responding to emails, doing research, or dealing with unpleasant situations. But remember that networking is often about building a long-term foundation, so your connections need to be nurtured. Force yourself to slow down from time to time and attend to details such as sending follow-up notes or completing tasks you agreed to do for your professional association. You may also need to give gentle pushes to people, reminding them to follow up on promises they made to you. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s best not to let things linger. One way to fight procrastination on these energy-sucking tasks is to “eat the frog” a few mornings a week. The idea is that if you address that task right away and just get it over with, the rest of your day will be sweeter.

  4. Celebrate your cooperative spirit.

    Generally, i-style people would rather collaborate than compete. They are motivated by group activities and excel at sparking enthusiasm among collaborators. Your optimism and empathy will be a breath of fresh air to people with a cynical view of “networking” as solely transactional and ego-based. Look for opportunities to collaborate, whether it is planning an event for a professional association or proposing a cross-department initiative at work. You have a gift for encouraging and energizing others. Enjoy it!

  5. Prove your competency.

    If you’re networking with someone who has a D or C style, they might have a natural affinity for people who are competent and self-assured. With those folks, focus less on the emotions and personal connections of the situation, and more on gaining their respect through a professional demeanor and displaying your competency. It’s about stretching into other styles, not being inauthentic to your true self. It might just mean dialing back on chatting about personal details and cultivating a more analytical or objective mindset. Read: How to be more objective.

  6. Remember to listen.

    If you have the i-style talent for talkativeness, that likely serves you well in many networking situations. (As an SC-style person, I often feel gratitude for the i styles around me who know how to strike up a conversation when I’m feeling especially reserved.) Call upon this strength, but remember to listen, as well. Ask questions and give slower-paced folks some quiet moments to formulate their thoughts and respond. And remember that not everyone feels comfortable sharing overly personal details with people they don’t know well.

  7. Enjoy providing delight.

    Because i-style people are relationship-focused, they are likely to enjoy bringing a bit of sunshine to someone’s day. This could be something like remembering personal details about people in their orbits, organizing a fun birthday surprise/baby shower/retirement party, or reconnecting with people from their past. Ideally, this means that the necessary work of building relationships with people you’ve met in networking situations will be enjoyable for you! You can make someone feel special and noticed by remembering to ask about their families, sending them a birthday message on social media, or just sharing an article or meme that made you think of them.

  8. Be careful of overcommitting yourself.

    Your enthusiasm for new endeavors, your impulse for action, your FOMO, and your worries about disappointing people can sometimes conspire to overload you with way too many commitments. Follow-through/completing projects is probably not your strongest quality to begin with, so you can easily get into situations where your plate just keeps getting fuller and fuller. Save yourself some stress by taking a moment to assess your capacity before saying yes to another obligation, even if it sounds fun.

  9. Be mindful of time.

    While it’s important to be engaging, be mindful of others’ time. Keep conversations concise and focused, ensuring that you respect their schedule.

  10. Follow up creatively.

    After meeting new contacts, follow up with a personal and creative touch. Whether it’s a handwritten note, a personalized email, or a shoutout on social media, make your follow-ups stand out.

Our i-style staff members say:

  • It’s overwhelming for me to network, because I want to talk to everybody. And while I’m trying to focus on the conversation I’m having, I’m also listening to everyone else’s conversations around me. When someone is saying something interesting, it grabs my attention. I get serious FOMO—I feel like I’m missing out on whatever those guys are laughing about over there. So networking is fun and exciting, but I have to remind myself to focus on one conversation at a time. I have to practice active listening. Sometimes I’m hearing but not listening.
  • In more social networking situations, I’ll be so high energy and then it’s like a switch flips and I’m done. I go from wanting to talk to everybody to wanting to talk to nobody. So my advice is to be aware of your energy level. Pace yourself. Don’t burn yourself out really quickly.
  • People with i styles tend to go with the flow, so I try to articulate what my goal is when I’m going into a networking situation. Am I looking for a new client? Seeking a new job in my field? Then I can try to cater my interactions a little bit toward meeting that goal, while still staying open to organic conversations and whatever surprises will come.
Networking tips for DiSC i-style people: Two people conversing in coworking space

Using DiSC for personalized networking tips

Self-awareness is crucial to interpersonal endeavors, and networking is no different. Understanding yourself—why certain things sap your energy, why you react the way you do, etc.—is the foundation of emotional intelligence. Tools like Everything DiSC make you a better communicator through self-awareness and knowledge of other personality types.

If you’re new to DiSC, start with Everything DiSC Workplace. To dig deeper into your powers of persuasion, take an Everything DiSC Sales assessment (not just for salespeople!). And to grow your emotional intelligence, check out Everything DiSC Agile EQ.

By leveraging your natural strengths and developing in other areas, you can engage with networking in a way that is authentic, enjoyable, and useful to your career goals.


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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