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The Influence of Reciprocity

You got to love the English language. We have words such as "your" and "you're" that people constantly use incorrectly. We have words such as "and" that match up with symbols such as "&". And then we have words such as "reciprocity" that are so complex and singular in usage, you never hear them.

Reciprocity is one of those words that truly influence the decisions we make with people, businesses, and the way we conduct ourselves. For us, reciprocity is expected. But through improper manners, childhood upbringing, or other factors, some people don't get it.

In its simplest manner, we want something in exchange when we give something to someone else. In each of the examples below, imagine if reciprocity did not happen.

You go to Starbucks. You give them $4 and they give you a latte. You tell the barista "thanks" and the barista replies back "you're welcome."

You take your girlfriend or spouse out to dinner. You open her car door and she says "thanks." When you get to the restaurant, you open the door and she says "thanks." While you wait at your table, you go to the bar and order drinks. You reciprocate to the bartender by leaving a tip. When the server brings candies or cookies along with the check at the end of the meal, you tell the server "thanks" most likely by giving a larger tip. 

For a birthday, you buy a gift and when the person opens it, the person says "thanks." When you go to someone's house for dinner, you invite them to your house for dinner.

When our customers call and place an order, we thank them. When they receive our online survey afterwards, we thank them again. We also thank our customers by giving them our trademark Tootsie Roll Pop.

How about this one. You are on a busy road and someone is exiting a shopping center and needs to make a right hand turn in front of you. You stop and let them in. You expect the driver to reciprocate to you by waving back. If they don't, you curse the driver and vow never to do it again. When the driver does wave back, you smile and feel good about it.

Today more than ever, we need to reciprocate. Winners do it consistently. And consistently is the them of tomorrow's blog. Think about ways you can reciprocate that you now take for granted. At the end, it's the small touches that make the difference.

Happy Wednesday!


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