Building relationships, especially when searching for a new job, involves more than chatting. It requires you to create trust by showing cooperation and exchanging information.
Lots of people struggle with the concept of networking. It can feel forced or fake. And if you are searching for a job, networking can feel like a waste of time.
But if you shift how you define networking and say it’s just about building relationships, does that make it less awful?
And one of the best ways to build new relationships is to incorporate reciprocity into every encounter.
Our good friends at Miriam-Webster define it as:
“shared dependence, cooperation, or exchange between persons, groups or states.“
(Saying this word always trips me up. No, actually, I can’t say it at all.)
When I talk about reciprocity during presentations, 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?
I need you and you need me.
When two people depend on each other doesn’t it really boil down to trust? What can you do to create trust with someone you’ve just met?
A holistic approach to this question might be answered by don Miquel Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements”. If you aren’t familiar with these 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.
Some of 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
Learn more about building trust here.
We’re in this together!
How can you convey the idea of cooperation when building relationships? Think about getting the answer to these questions:
What is our shared problem? What do you have in common with this person, personally and professionally?
Learn more about cooperation here.
Give and take!
This means the information you share during your conversation with someone is mutually beneficial. What can you do to give as much as you get when building relationships? Some ideas might include:
- Sharing a recent article.
- Opening up your network by volunteering to introduce them to someone they may be interested in knowing.
- Letting someone know about a helpful resource you’ve discovered.
Learn more about exchanging ideas here.
With each new person you meet, you have the opportunity to build reciprocity into the encounter.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.