I have a firm belief that the universe gives you what you need to grow - its only up to you to listen and keep an open mind to learning what it is you are supposed to learn in that moment.
The triad exercise - where you find the things you admire about two people and introduce them to each other using that information - was this such a thing.
I have been at a point in my life where I know myself enough to know what I'm good at. But with every good thing, if you exist in a vacuum, you aren't going to make an impact. The prerequisite for making impact involves other people. Period. So me, doing my lovely little dance by myself with my hairbrush everyday wasn't going to make a pop-star out of me. And much to my chagrin, I needed to learn how to bust out of the shy little shell and start singing my song to others.
What was lovely about the triad exercise was that it was inherently externally focused - I didn't need to talk about myself at all in order to foster a new relationship. I had this internal stigma against networking for this reason, I hated talking about myself. But how lovely was it to take the things I admired and just talked about them! I thoroughly enjoyed doing the exercise electronically, that I started doing it in my work with my students. In learning more about the strengths of my students, I started understanding the strengths of my community. Names came more easily, the students seemed to bloom in their learning experience during demos. The culture in my shop flourished.
I'm pleased that the thing that I'm learning in this moment is reinventing what effective networking can look like. The triad exercise was wonderful, and will be a tool that I keep in my socializing wheelhouse when I find myself needing to inhabit an expert role.