The Power of Reciprocity at Work

by Andrew G.R., USNEws, August 25, 2008

From Christianity to Buddhism, almost all of the major world religions believe that the more you give, the more you get in return.

Making the place you work the best place possible falls on your shoulders. Help make the office a better space by giving until you drop.

It's not just giving; it's the intention behind giving. You have to want to make it really count without motive or selfishness. Mutual action, or the power of reciprocity, starts with YOU.

What can you give?

  • TIME. It's your most valuable asset, and it's free.
  • ATTENTION. Stop multitasking and lend an ear. Throw in some eye contact for good measure.
  • IDEAS. What good is an unshared thought? It has no value until it is brought to life.
  • FEEDBACK. Surprisingly, in most cases, people want to hear what you think. (Also see "Path of Least Resistance.")
  • PERKS. Managers and employers have difficulty understanding how easy it is to get more out of their staff by not being so rigid.
  • PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE. It's too easy to put in your 2 cents. Holding back can be a gift in itself. Silence could be golden. (Also see "Feedback.")
  • TREATS. Share cookies, bring in bagels, etc. No event needed!
  • KNOWLEDGE. What you know has the potential to help someone else.

What are you waiting for? Tell us what you plan to give today!

Create your own luck and be generous at work. Your coworkers might never thank you, but the process has to start somewhere. Why not with you?

"...[A] state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?" Samyutta Nikaya (The Book of Kindred Sayings), verse 353.

After holding down various media jobs, including stops at MTV Networks and Fox News, Andrew G. R. was completely discouraged—not only about his own career but about the lack of job resources that truly spoke to him. Enter, the employment blog, and the podcast designed to Make Work Better.