The Law of Reciprocity


Recently, I was asked by a very good client to speak to our networking group about “The Law of Reciprocity”. Brian Tracy defines this law simply as…”If you do something nice for me, I’ll do something nice for you. I feel obligated to reciprocate”. Some people believe that this is possibly the most important law of human nature. It forms the basis to solid relationships and it is the fundamental bedrock of any effective networking group.


Consider the last time you went out to lunch with a colleague and he or she picked up the tab. You probably said, “Thank you. I’ll get it next time.” Or, perhaps your buddy bought you a beer at the ballpark and you responded, “Thanks! I’ll get the next round.”


We have an innate desire to reciprocate. In effect, to be “even”.


This same principle applies to relationships, whether they are business or personal. Do you want to get hundreds of people helping you to achieve your goals in life? Then help hundreds of people achieve theirs. It’s like a giant “Bank Account”. The more deposits you make, the faster the balance grows, and the larger the withdrawals you will be able to make down the road.


So, think about who you can make a deposit with today and every day, for that matter. They don’t need to be large deposits. Perhaps, a piece of advice or an introduction. Maybe pass along a magazine article on a topic a colleague may be interested in. It may even be bringing in a simple box of donuts or bag of bagels for your staff on a dreary, rainy morning. It doesn’t take much.


These emotional deposits will grow like compound interest and pay the bonus dividend of really making you feel good about yourself. The old, worn-out cliché: “Your attitude determines your altitude” is a worn out cliché because it’s actually true. So, make a habit of providing someone with something of value, either material or emotional” and you will benefit and flourish from “The Law of Reciprocity” too.

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