CodeMash 2024: Networking for Introverts: Build, Maintain, and Use Networks Without Being Creepy

When I saw a session on networking for introverts on the schedule, I knew I had to be there. It conflicted with the async masterclass that I wanted to catch as well, but at this point in the conference, I needed something a bit lighter. As I mentioned in this Tweet, my internal battery was running low. To make it more exciting, this session was presented by Brian MacDonald. I’ve seen his sessions in session reviews over the years and was determined to capture his sessions in-person eventually. This was a great catch.

Networks are built on empathy

Brian MacDonald is presenting on networking for introverts and shares that networks are built on empathy.

One of the secrets that Brian shared is that networks are built on empathy. I’ve found empathy to go a long way in my networking adventures, and I use it to my advantage. When it’s hard to relate to others, remember – they’re human too! People are more than just their titles at work. Everyone has their own set of stories and adventures. If you can’t relate to them on their job titles – you’re probably not alone! Try to relate on a human level!

Exercise! Wait… What?!

With a clickbait title 😂, I should have seen this coming. Seriously, though, Brian had an exercise in his session on networking for introverts where we needed to choose one of our neighbors and:

  1. Introduce ourselves.
  2. Where are you from?
  3. What is one weird … ? (This is where my notes are a bit screwy.)

We had points we had to hit. And for a room of introverts, it was LOUD! 😁

There was a gentleman to my right who had that look like “Please don’t talk to me. I don’t know if I can do this.” So… I talked with him. I think that 3rd point was something about weird hobbies or something like that. We stuck to the script of who we are, where we’re from, but when it came to the weird hobby part, he mentioned that he didn’t really have one since he didn’t have much in the way of hobbies. That got me to ask an alternative question – “What do you do for fun?” He mentioned he had a younger son and that it took a lot of his time. Boy can I relate – I’m a mom to 2 boys! We got to talking about how they like LEGOs, and since his kiddo was with him, I asked if he caught Thomas Haver’s session on LEGOs. The conversation was going well until Brian tried to get the room of noisy introverts to quiet down. 😂

You went off-script!

Yeah, yeah I did. I do that often. I tend to go off script and prefer unscripted, because that’s how I roll. Also – did you see what I used? I used empathy to get our conversation rolling, rather than leaving it awkward. So Brian’s point was spot on!


I hate cutting this one off here, and I’m dying to know how the rest of the talk went. Unfortunately, I had to cut out of this session early to catch some lunch before heading to another session. But from what I caught, I really enjoyed Brian’s energy for this as well as the fact that he could get a room of introverts talking LOUDLY. My heart warmed at hearing how loud it was in there – there is hope for us introverts!

By sadukie

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