In recent years, I have been intrigued by the Art of Reciprocity. First, I had to learn how to say the word which intrigued me because it was a tongue twister. I thank God for online dictionaries where you can hear a word because this word is not one that could phonetically be sounded out. Ok, I digress. The Rule of Reciprocity, rec·i·proc·i·ty, can be defined as "a conditioned response where people are compelled to return the kindness of a gift, even if they really don't want to." Anytime I see the word compelled, I get even more intrigued as I am reminded of Jesus being compelled to travel to Samaria where He encounters the woman at the well. "He had to pass through Samaria" (John 4:4) identifies that He had a strong need to go there to bless this woman. When we are compelled to return the kindness of a gift, it is a strong desire inside of us that we either want to do something in return, say thank you or tell someone else about it.
When we think of the Art of Reciprocity, it takes this compulsion even further because not only are we desiring to return the favor but others in return are compelled by our actions. This seems so simple that if more of us incorporated this into our every day lives the world would be a better place. We would have better relationships with family, friends, strangers, and business acquaintances. We would have better marriages, friendships, and partnerships. If we built our business on this foundation, we would not have customers but relationships between our clients that are long-lasting and mutually beneficial.
Wouldn't it be amazing to have someone you did business with come back forever instead of purchasing from you just once? Imagine, you are a coach and you delivered a one time service but did not engage in reciprocity. The next time the individual needed a coach they hired someone else. It probably is not because you did not provide good service but you failed to build the relationship as a give-take-give. This can be applied to any type of business as well as in life.
So, how do you exercise the Art of Reciprocity?
1. Be Willing to Give – Giving is sometimes hard but it is so rewarding. We are often afraid of giving because we will not receive it in return or be appreciated. Jesus tells us "It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Interestingly, the word blessed in Greek is happy! Wow, it makes you happy to give. Begin by challenging yourself over the next 10 days to give without the thought of receiving in return and let me know if you feel happier. Your problems will not go away but you will have a renewed sense of peace. As business owners, try giving in your business instead of selling. Social media training advises that you should provide 90% give and 10% sell. This applies here. Give of yourself 90% before you ask for the sale. You will be surprised that you will not have to ask for the sale. It will come back tenfold. Not only are you happy but you are blessed, materially and spiritually. Give a little, you might like it!
2. Be Open to Give with No Return – As I help younger people, I often hear "I'm not doing anything for them they never do anything for me." Ouch! First off, recognize that it is important to do for others without looking for anything in return. Watch what comes back to you from places you least expect it. This is called Indirect Reciprocity. Person A does for Person B and Person C does for Person A. This is more common than A to B then B to A. When we realize that individuals that we help may not be in the position to help in return does not mean that they do not have a circle of influence who can give. Never doubt that you will be blessed in return for your giving. Person B may share what you have done and business may come your way. More importantly, it requires that we give without thought of getting in return. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying give away all your talents. I am saying be open to give to get, you will get more than you imagined!
3. Be Prepared to Receive - One of the hardest things for me is receiving, but I'm learning. When I wrote my book, As I Encourage You, I Encourage Myself, I really got a grasp of what it meant to give to others even if its encouragement. When I began to encourage others in the midst of my personal struggles, I was greatly blessed and encouraged in return. I recognized that my struggles were not that bad. Also, my words to others actually strengthen me. I received immensely more. Once you begin giving of yourself, the Power of Reciprocity takes effect and you will begin receiving. Your business will grow. Your marriages will be strengthened. Your relationships will be intimate. Your life will change. Receive ON!!!!!
Give a little, you may be surprised that it doesn't cost you much but the blessing is amazing! I encourage you to enjoy the art of Reciprocity! Let me know how it goes for you! Propel Your Problems to Potential!
Never forget, As I Encourage You, I Encourage Myself!
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