Few things are more satisfying than to introduce two people when you think they have common interests. Often it’s driven by someone needing to fill a position or someone needing work, but that’s by no means the only scenario – it can just as easily be some common interest that has nothing to do with changing jobs (though it could still be about the kind of work they do).
Being the connector means being alert for the chance to be the connector! Once you start paying attention you’re more likely to see opportunities. That doesn’t mean you’ll be doing it every day. Right now I might do act as the connector from four to maybe six times a year. It’s hard to say what triggers it, maybe the most common is something coming up in conversation or email that previously came up in conversation or email with someone else you know.
I’m still trying to find the technique that works best for me when doing this. In person is pretty easy. Via email is harder. My latest approach is checking with each person first to see if they would be open to the introduction, then following up with an email to both and mentioning something short and interesting about my relationship with each – I’m trying to transfer respect and trust in a way. Not sure it works or feels perfect, I’ll continue to experiment.
Looking for these opportunities has also made me more appreciative when someone else introduces me to someone. Whether it works out in some way or not, I try to remember to go back and close the loop the next time I see the connector, let them know it turned out.
Remember that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Last year someone came up to me at an event and said that a mutual friend said we should talk. That was enough to get my immediate interest and we did talk, for several hours. I’ll take all of those connections I can find!