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Making connections

Being at Grinnell has given me the good fortune to get to know a variety of incredibly awesome people: colleagues [1], friends, alumni, students, and even some folks who cross those boundaries. One of the privileges of my position is that I can occasionally connect students to these people and they provide the students with guidance, advice, a sounding board, or other kinds of support [2].

Once in a while, I also notice connections when both sides can provide and receive support. In those cases, I typically send a short note. A, meet B. B, meet A. A is [fill in Sam’s description of A]. B is [fill in Sam’s description of B]. You two seem to share common interests. You should talk.

I love when that approach works really well. About a month ago, I suggested that two of my favorite empowerment people [3] meet. The met face to face a week or so ago. Both thanked me profusely the next day.

I can’t wait to see what they come up with together.

[1] I count both faculty and staff as colleagues and find awesomeness in both categories.

[2] Unfortunately, not all students understand what a privilege this kind of connection can be, and abuse the opportunity, so I’ve become a bit more cautious about making general connections. I plan to work with one of my thoughtful colleagues in CLS to help better prepare students for making connections.

[3] When I describe them as empowerment people, I mean that I think of both as particularly successful at empowering others to achieve their goals. Both also empower me.

Version 1.0 of 2018-02-16.