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Are you comfortable giving recommendations?

How do you feel about recommending someone for a job, promotion, project, or even hooking up with a love interest?

Here’s what Flo says, “I don’t have any qualms about giving a reference even if I know the person is not qualified. You see, I got to help out a sister, so if it means just getting her in the door, then I am for it. Now, if she screws up, that’s on her; I did my part. Same thing with a blind date, they either have a connection or not.”

Moe puts it this way, “No way am I going to recommend a friend for a job, which he doesn’t qualify for. Even if he is capable, it would reflect badly on me if it all goes south. So I am not taking that chance in a work situation or with a relationship; it would affect our friendship.”

These little scenarios show how we differ when thinking about recommending people. Some of us do it effortlessly without hesitation, while others 'hem and haw' or flatly refuse. To be honest, I would not co-sign a loan for a friend, but would recommend her for anything as long as I am confident of her capabilities. We all have experienced that great feeling after learning we got a promotion or won the contract. Perhaps, it was a tight race, but we got it because someone believed in us! How do we reciprocate? Do we reach out to help others as we move up? Sometimes, just a word to the right person is all it takes. Other examples might include simply advising a coworker of the exact tools to use, showing someone the correct path in a process, or telling others about the great work of a contractor, electrician, or other service person.

For some of us, it is in our nature to be cautious, not wanting to put our reputation on the line. Like Moe, we want nothing to do with the situation. However, there are circumstances when going out on a limb can really be a lifesaver for someone. We have all been down the road of “if only he/she had lent, given, showed, recommended…I would be ahead of the game.” Matthew 7:12 MSG states: Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. So, the next time you get a request and have an inner conflict, I pray that you pause and give it some thought before you respond. Unable to give an affirmative answer…how about offering other ideas? Ninety-five-year-old Wally Richardson advises, “Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier.” A good mantra to live by!

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