“I have a dilemma,” Braylon confided to a friend.
“Araceli asked me to analyze three software programs for her department.”
“You are an expert on software. What’s the dilemma?”
“Jaxson wants me to upgrade materials for his new-employee orientation program. I don’t have time to do a good job on both.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I think I’ll respond to Araceli’s request. I’ll tell Jaxson my schedule is full. He has something on file that he can use.”
“Are you sure that is the right priority?”
“I’m not sure but I can’t refuse Araceli’s request. She saved my bacon last month. She created very clever brochures that boosted attendance at our recognition dinner.”
Braylon is responding to the concept of reciprocity—responding to a positive action of another by repaying the person with a positive action.
Reciprocity is a powerful motivator. To increase your influence, look for ways to help others. Extend yourself to welcome new employees. Be quick to share your skills with struggling team members. Do not wait to be asked. Anticipate and volunteer.
By adding value for others, you build a reservoir of goodwill. When, in the future, you need to exert your influence, you are more likely to get “yes’s.”