The first time I heard the expression â€œgetting itâ€ was from a colleague about six years ago: We were discussing the selection criteria for the Top Sales Experts team and we both agreed that â€œgetting itâ€ should be a pre-requisite for anyone wishing to join us.
Up until that point I had been used to working to â€œwin-winâ€ principles â€“ it is something my mother taught me from an early age, but she called it the â€œgive and takeâ€ mindset, and later on in life this essential philosophy was further confirmed by Steven Covey in his defining work â€œSeven Habits of Highly Successful Peopleâ€ which I have since summarized in a free downloadable Ebook
Developing a conscious understanding of this giving and sharing strategy can take some time and some practice.
In her book â€˜How to Master Networkingâ€™ Robyn Henderson calls this process earning the right to ask a favor of another person, or giving without hooks. Both of these statements imply two processes that operate pretty much at the same time (and neither of them necessarily our first reaction).
The two processes in earning the right to ask a favor are:
â€¢ Giving away information (to be helpful)
â€¢ Being open for any help you may need
Letâ€™s look at these two processes in turn ……
Giving Away Information
Whether it is accidental or planned, formal or informal, random or structured, while discussing with other people, the effective â€œwin-winnerâ€ offers his or her knowledge, skills, ideas, resources, guidance or data freely â€“ without any â€˜hooksâ€™ or expectations that repayment is due in any form. In fact, the only immediate benefit may be the pleasure to be derived from assisting someone with information that was of value to them.
Whilst the giver expects nothing in return, the receiver has a very positive experience and memory of you upon which they can act (if they so choose) in the future. If they do, either directly or indirectly, at some indeterminate time, you may receive some reciprocal benefit.
Along with openly offering any possible help and support, the effective â€œwin-winnerâ€ does not operate as a one-way helper or super person/white knight/angel coming to the rescue of everyone else, but never personally in need of assistance. He or she also talks realistically about personal goals, tasks, challenges, problems and general issues and acknowledges feeling vulnerable in not being able to do everything single-handedly. Being open means being receptive to help when it is offered and, on occasions, asking networking contacts if they can suggest ideas, strategies or approaches that could assist you.
These two processes operate at the same time and together to create a cycle through which â€˜favorsâ€™ are continually offered to all who participate. These favors are both offered and taken in order to keep the relationship strong.
This process is also called â€˜reciprocityâ€™ – it simply means that an effective relationship is a coin with two sides, rather than just one. You canâ€™t have one without the other.
Finally, I would say this: When someone asks for our help, we shouldn’t put that request through a â€œqualification processâ€ asÂ in â€œWhatâ€™s in it for me?â€ or â€œWhat have they ever done for me?â€ Give willingly, from the heart and unconditionally â€“ or donâ€™t bother. The very worst type of people are those who pretend to give, or who tell themselves (and everyone else) they are â€œgreat giversâ€
My mother also once told me that â€œwhatever you give out in life, you will get back two-fold â€“ good or badâ€Â I guess that is “As ye sow, so shall ye reap?” She was spot on.
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