Reciprocity: Cultivating Your Sphere of Influence
It is important for leaders at all levels to understand, cultivate and grow their sphere of influence. Your sphere of influence is a subset of your network that resides within your organization. The sphere of influence includes direct reports, peers, direct leaders, colleagues and even work friends.
Reciprocity is one way to expand this sphere. The concept of reciprocity suggests that people are more willing to comply with requests (for favors, services, information, concessions, etc.) from those who have provided them first.
Consider these 3 ways to use reciprocity as a tool to expand your sphere of influence:
- Listen Skillfully. When you listen intently to the priorities of fellow colleagues, you quickly begin to identify opportunities to pay it forward.
- Be Straightforward. Don't be afraid to say that you value reciprocity and that you will strive to help a colleague move an initiative forward as much as possible.
- Focus on "Small Asks." Giving to your network is a generally understood principle. However, when it comes time to request something from your network, make reciprocity easy with small asks. Small asks are things that could be done quickly and easily. Remember that small asks, over time, get big results.