Management Tip of the Day: How to say no to making an intro

Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:52am EST
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BOSTON (Reuters) - You should not feel pressured into making a professional connection for a friend or colleague if you can't vouch for that person's qualifications, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and ( Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"Providing a professional introduction is a great way to help out friends or colleagues. But you should never broker a connection if you can't vouch for the person's qualifications.

Here are three steps for politely declining an introduction you don't feel comfortable making:

1. Be transparent. Respond honestly and explain why you aren't making the introduction. Perhaps you feel the connection isn't a good fit or won't lead anywhere.

2. Give a consolation prize. Offer up something else instead. Give advice or guidance on what the requester can do next time he makes a similar appeal.

3. Stay in touch. If you are willing to reconsider his request at a later time, say so. Leave the door open for further interaction."

-Today's management tip was adapted from "How to Say No to Making an Introduction" by Jodi Glickman.

(For the full post, see: here)