The Best Present You Can Give? A Thoughtful Connection.
Updated: Mar 5
This holiday, when everyone feels a little adrift, you can give an inspired gift that can’t be found on Etsy or Amazon.
A gift people want, but don’t know they need: a thoughtful connection.
For close to a year, we’ve listened to our friends, families and colleagues consider what comes next after the pandemic. Maybe it's a new project, investment, or job, or maybe it's a life change.
Your colleague could be the perfect contact for a friend who is considering changing careers or starting a new business.
Your dear friend from college could be the perfect contact for your client who wants to venture into virtual currencies.
Or, maybe your niece has decided to move, and you know the perfect realtor.
Your network has value for the people you care about. The perfect connection may be ensconced in your contacts. So take a look and offer to make an introduction. When my friends make connections for me, I am incredibly grateful. The impact could be transformative.
So, on this wintery day, at the start of the holiday season, here are my five tips for making excellent connections.
5 Tips for Making Excellent Connections
Do it in the moment. Right when you think of it. Don’t delay, or there is a strong chance that you will never make the connection. That’s because we often second guess ourselves.
It’s just like when we were little and had to take multiple choice tests. The teacher would say, once you make a selection, don’t change your answer. Your first choice is usually correct. The same goes for making connections. If you have an idea of two people to connect, you should just do it, and don’t put it off until later. No wrapping needed.
Pick the right technology to make your connection. I recommend my app, Connector Street. It was created for the single purpose of making introductions. It just takes just a few clicks. First you select the two people you want to introduce. Then you craft your intro message, and hit “Send.” Be sure to add a photo or avatar for each of the people you are connecting. Pictures are worth a 1000 words.
Reach out to each of the two contacts and get their blessing. And this can be an easy call or text! And nine times out of ten, your two contacts will be thrilled to be introduced.
Keep the intro message short. Give the highlights on why you are connecting them. No need to go into a lot of detail about each other’s background. They can find each others’ profile online. All you need to say in your message is that this is the intro you promised. Or, something like that.
Follow up and make sure they actually connected. Sometimes you have to give one of your friends a gentle nudge. The App saves all of your introductions, so you can always go back and see how your connections are doing.
Finally, if you are so lucky to get a connection from someone you trust, always thank the introducer. You can do it right away when you get the connection, and then afterwards, after you have spoken to the other person.
This is a very strange holiday season. There is joy, yes. But we aren’t visiting the people we care most about. We don’t get to go to holiday parties. We don’t linger in the stores and malls, and we keep our interactions with others to a minimum. But there is something we can do which is without risk, and can make an outsize impact on the people we care about. We can make meaningful connections.
Andrea Tinianow is a Delaware attorney and founder of the Connector Street app. Andrea is a frequent speaker and Forbes author on a range of topics related to making connections, innovation, blockchain technology and the law. Watch Andrea’s TedX talk on The Power of Making Connections or connect with her on LinkedIn.