Saying this word always trips me up. No, actually, I can’t say it at all. I put the wrong emphasis on syllables. But it is a great word! Our good friends at Mirriam-Webster define it as:
shared dependence, cooperation, or exchange between persons, groups or states.
When I talk about reciprocity during presentations on networking, I ask:
How are you building reciprocity into every encounter?
So that is my question of you today. What are you doing to incorporate a sense of shared dependence, cooperation or exchange when you meet people and let me add interview as well?
A holistic approach to this question might be answered by don Miquel Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements”. If you aren’t familiar with this four guiding principles, they include:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
But for the engineers reading this, I realize you may need more concrete examples of behaviors that lead to trusting relationships. Here are some:
- Show openness and be transparent: Share what you know, but also what you do not know
- Honor your promises: Do what you say you are going to do
- Speak your feelings: Don’t just focus on facts, inject how you feel
- Volunteer information: Don’t hold back information or make people pull information from you
- Keep other people’s secrets: Don’t gossip
- Be objective/fair: Consider other people before taking action or making decisions
- Listen more than speak: Be other-centric
We’re in this together! How can you convey this idea with those you meet? What is the shared problem? What similarities do you have? What do you have in common with this person, personally and professionally?
- Sharing a recent article.
- Opening up your network by volunteering to introduce them to someone they may be interested in knowing.
- Letting them know about a helpful resource you’ve discovered.
Every time you meet someone new, you have the opportunity to build reciprocity into the encounter. What are some of the ways you’ve done this?