The Serendipity of Reciprocity

arrow-25873_640I am moved when clients – and people I’m just talking with – take a kernel of an idea I offer and make it their own:

  • Making additional, unexpected edits to their resume or the executive summary they were working on that dramatically improves their messaging and impact
  • Approaching employee performance discussions and team planning sessions with a joyful creatively that engagingly captures and focuses everyone’s attention
  • Recognizing (and proactively addressing) the unintended implications of a new policy or practice before the you-know-what hits the you-know-where

All gratifying, indeed. But what’s even more so is when their kernels affect me:

  • A book or TED Talk they’ll recommend that profoundly motivates and inspires me
  • An insight they’ll share that dramatically shifts my own thinking about a personal matter I’m grappling with
  • A question they’ll ask that informs me as to how I might coach them, and others, in more masterful ways

Look Both Ways – It’s a Two-Way Street

A natural tendency of the busy and stressed is to put our heads down and plow forward. In doing so, however, we often miss the serendipity of reciprocity – those unscripted moments where we can (and do) help others, and they can (and do) help us, far more than we might realize. Such giving and receiving can be wonderfully rewarding, even when they have only a one-and-done quality to them. But when you consider that every interaction includes a kernel for long term and ongoing value, as well, it becomes increasingly clear that we must allow ourselves to share, and reflect on what’s shared, far more than we often do.

What Next?

If this post helped you learn something about yourself, then great! Be sure to share your insight with others as a way of 'locking in' your learning. While you're at it, I'd also appreciate you telling them about the other self-study resources available from LeadershipTraction including:Thanks.

- bz

P.S. If you have a question or comment about this post, just let me know. I'll do my best to get back to you, straightaway.

 

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