Over the past several weeks I’ve been traveling throughout the US participating in various professional development and business activities.  As always the process starts with a great deal of enthusiasm with the prospect of connecting with old friends and meeting new colleagues.  However, as the time moves on, I find that one’s energy keeps declining and declining.  Today I was participating in a business meeting where we had an opportunity for “speed networking.”

Its an interesting idea where colleagues are invited to meet as many of each other as possible within the parameters of certain interest areas of expertise topics.  While this can be a great event for those on the extraverted side to meet lots of colleagues, the whole idea makes the introverted of us a bit apprehensive.  However, it is a great development activity as it forces everyone to act outside their comfort zone.

The big challenge that I was finding though was that after almost 4 weeks on the road I have effectively reached my limits when it comes to my extraverted side.  As a side note, I am an introvert but I have learned over the years to function as an extravert in certain situations such as professional society events and business meetings.  I discovered that by the time that the speed networking event was in full swing I wanted desperately to extract myself out of the situation and simply get away.

I knew that I was not operating at my best because I was simply not being effective in this networking session.  While the opportunity to meet others was there, my state of mind was preventing me from participating fully.  Furthermore, my energy was leading me in the wrong direction. So, I decided that it would be best to simply slow down gravitate to the edge of the room until the session was over.

The key reminder for me from today’s experience is that sometimes it is better to sit on the bench rather than commit an error that would cost the team the game!