Pathways Guides: How Introductions Can Lead to Relationships

By Karlene Shea.

How does any relationship start?
In the work that we do it starts when we introduce the person we are trying to connect to another individual or group. Therefore we want to start with a well thought out introduction.

Keep in mind the following:
Develop a clear vision of what it is you are trying to accomplish.

Talk it over with the person being introduced so that you are both in agreement as to the amount of information that will be shared and with whom.

Be respectful at all times

If possible try to know something about the people you are introducing (interest- hobbies-favorite places- favorite foods)

Share this information with the person being introduced.

Present the person in a positive light while being open and honest.

Use language that everyone understands. Avoid acronyms.

Look for an ally within the group or a mutual acquaintance of the non-disabled person being introduced.

Model ways of interacting for the benefit of those with and without a disability.

Know that your role is vital to the success of this undertaking.

Know that the introduction is just the beginning of your work but also understand that the time will come for you to let go and become an invisible resource.

For more information you can contact:
Karlene Shea
karleneshea@mcsnet.org
413-534-3299

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