ReciproCity is a place where people generously offer up their service to one another and acknowledge the exchange within their choices to consciously give and receive. Empathy is easily applied here. I especially enjoy visiting the “Neighborhood of Balance” within this fair city. Some who reside here permanently often recommend making a special trip to this neighborhood in order to observe and learn about their customs. Here they work hard to debunk negative stereotypes associated with tricksters and their ways of manipulation, coercion or bullying. Others in this unique place give generously without concern for receiving a fair or valued exchange in the moment, knowing their culture is trusted, and that parity works and will return with time.
Generally speaking there are two types of reciprocity encouraged within many workplace cultures today. One is referred to as Pay It Forward and the other Rewarding Reputation. Paying it forward in simple terms means: “you help me, and I’ll help another”. It is often driven by appreciation. In this case, gratitude can be a stronger motivator for giving as compared with obligation or indebtedness. Rewarding reputation entails supporting others by sustaining or being a part of a strategy to benefit someone’s personal and/or professional reputation.
Professionals and organizations benefit when reciprocity occurs or when it is embedded within their cultures. When we are upfront and consciously agree about our intentions and motivations in applying reciprocity we can increase trust; grow group cohesion; unlock knowledge and insight about each other’s values, talents and expertise; lift peoples’ energy and engagement levels; improve our ability to create solutions; and work better together. In essence reciprocity supports productive collaboration.
Ready to expand reciprocity and its reach in your “neighborhood” or team? I recommend adding a new weekly practice of designing a short team huddle for the purpose of growing and sustaining reciprocity. You may want to begin with a weekly or bi-monthly G&R (Give and Receive Huddle) or Pay It Forward Huddle. During this time explore and discuss purposeful reciprocity topics to ask and answer questions, share resources, schedule 15-30 minute mentoring sessions between individuals on a specific topic, or schedule 15-60 minute solution solver sessions for a specific topic. Be sure to include a monthly or quarterly check-in to highlight progress, acknowledge successes, and appreciate participation. We can build a city of reciprocity by generously giving and receiving our professional expertise, ideas and innovations.
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Contact Beth Wellesley at firstname.lastname@example.org, 612.824.0454 (o) or 612.325.5104 (m).