I think we’re losing the art of introductions. The way of connecting people. It is not as easy as it seems. And some people don’t know how or don’t respect the conventions. So here’s my take on how to do a great introduction.

We have two people (at Company A, and Company B) and an introducer (that’s me folks).

1) Like giving gifts, an introduction is about the two people, not the introducer. This means you (as the introducer) need to understand well the two people you want to introduce. And be clear about why you think they’d benefit each other.

2) Benefit here doesn’t solely mean business. It could be about sharing expertise, information, or humour. It could be about two humans that just ‘ought to meet.’

3) The thing is that my ‘ought’ (as the introducer) might be someone else’s ‘ick’. So step three is to ask both people, might I introduce you? Ask separately, by email, and in advance.

4) I always give a one-sentence to each person and why I think they’d be a good fit. I ask, ‘Would meeting this person be useful to you?’

5) I offer each person an ‘out’ – making it clear that an introduction will only be made if useful to them, and that I won’t take offence if they say no.

6) If you are introduced, never just send a Calendly link. I prefer to ask ‘Shall I suggest a date, or would you prefer to pick from an online diary?’ Then the power is in the hands of others.

7) Always let the introducer know how the introduction went. It is just common courtesy.

8) If you decide to not follow through on the introduction, let the introducer know. Introducing is work.

I now make far fewer introductions, but when I introduce people, I bring it. Get introducing people, people.