The strategy for your future could very well be influenced greatly by a person you have yet to meet. Reciprocal networking is vital to increase your strategic opportunities.
This week’s Inspire Me quote is from Jesus Himself:
“Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.” (Luke 6:38 MSG)
In episode 50, Leary and Armin talked about the need to develop strategic margin. The key concept from that episode is that to increase margin, it’s more effective to increase personal power than decreasing load. This episode discusses the third of five ways to increase your personal power by increasing your reciprocity power.
Marketers know the power of reciprocity. When something is given, a sense of obligation is created. This is such a powerful concept of human behavior that it easily abused. When we seek to give something only to receive something in return, we have manipulated the other party. Those who continue to do so are soon recognized as self-serving and begin to lose the power of reciprocity they may have had if their focus where instead on what they gave rather than what they need.
To harness the power of reciprocity in a healthy way requires a commitment to discovery; to genuinely inquire into the needs of another. And it requires a commitment to help another even when there may not be a clear payback for you.
Three ways to increase the possibility of reciprocity (from Martin, Goldstein & Cialdini, The Small Big):
- Go first. Be the first mover. When you take action first, you establish the culture of reciprocity.
- Say more than than “You’re welcome.” Remind them why you did it to communicate the value of reciprocity to another.
- Express gratitude toward the favor-doer. Researchers have found that explicit displays of appreciation more than doubled the chances for new favors to be done.
This week’s Challenge Me:
Keep your eyes open for that opportunity this week to give value to another, expressly without expecting anything in return.
Resources mentioned or related to this podcast that may be helpful to you:
- Why you need strategic margin, Reinventure Me episode 50 on strategic margin and why reciprocity power is an essential element to achieving it.
- How to network like a pro, Reinventure Me episode 16 on networking.
- The Small Big: Small Changes that Spark Big Influence, Steve Martin, Noah Goldstein & Robert Cialdini, Chapters 31 & 32 discuss reciprocity and the three steps mentioned above