Why You Should Introduce Your Connections

You might have noticed that some people introduce you to their other friends while others seem to prefer keeping their friendships separate. Partly this is culturally determined -- in some cultures people are more inclined to try to bring different friends together -- and partly it depends on personality. It's exactly the same in networking. Some people try to connect you to their contacts, while others seem to avoid it, either through inactivity or perhaps deliberate intent.

But should you introduce professional connections who don't know each other? Some people fear that by introducing connections to each other they are taking themselves out of the loop and losing power. If connections are separate, the logic seems to be, then both connections have to go through them. This is actually a very bad idea and in normal real-world scenarios you are always better off introducing connections, at least where it makes sense. There are several reasons for this:

Being a connector makes you valuable. To network effectively you need to help the people in your network when you can. Sometimes this help comes in the form of expertise but the most valuable gift you can give anyone in your network is to introduce them to someone they might like to meet. This benefits both of the other people and brings its own reward to you. Both the other people will remember that you were generous with your introductions and this adds to your network capital. This is one of the easiest ways to become a stellar networker.

People are more inclined to help generous people.  Humans have always lived in communities which survive by helping each other. Our brains are finely tuned to recognize the difference between sharers and freeloaders and we react accordingly. If you have a reputation for connecting people who are in your network then others are more likely to think of you and make be more responsive when you ask for help.

Connecting contacts makes you look confident.  While you might think that you gain some advantage by keeping contacts separate, normally the opposite happens. This just gives the impression of being insecure and makes people more wary of you. If you introduce two people they might start working together and if that makes you feel left out then the problem is your attitude.

What's good for your network is good for you. A network of successful people is much more likely to be able to help you in future. That's why every time you help someone in your network you are indirectly helping yourself. If you connect two people who didn't know each other and because of that they are more successful then they are in a better position to help the network.

There are a few cases where connections have to be kept separate -- like where a doctor has a networking account and patients are connected but need to be isolated for privacy -- but in other cases you are better off introducing connections to each other. They benefit, your network benefits and you benefit.

Lectures, Workshops, Coaching and Writing

For lectures, interactive workshops, one-to-one coaching and writing about networking and other influencing skills you can contact Andrew Hennigan at speaker@andrewhennigan.com or 0046 73 089 44 75.


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