Category Archives: People

Balancing Reciprocity

The meaning of reciprocity….
We all want the people that we come across in life, especially in business, to know and understand the meaning of “reciprocity”….and more importantly to practice it!

This complicated word describes a great and effective approach to our relationship with the world and those who we encounter along the way. But is it really that complicated?

According to the ancient philosopher Confucius, reciprocity signifies “mutuality, interchange, duality, interdependence.” Derived from Latin, “reciprocus” has the connotation of altruism, making a sacrifice, alternation.

Or put very simply…. it is the art of give and take. Life becomes unbalanced when we do more giving and others do more taking.

The art of reciprocity is extremely powerful
Never doubt how powerful the art of reciprocity is and how by not adopting its principals it can adversely impact on business relationships.

It is often said that ‘what goes round, comes around’ and the basis of this saying can be found in the law of reciprocity.

So ask yourself, what are you prepared to offer your business partner, collegue or to other people around you? How far are you ready to stretch yourself in order to reach out to these people? What do you ask for as compensation or as thanks in return?

Our reciprocity needs

It is obvious from the experiences that we have in life that, consciously or subconsciously, having given to another human being, we anticipate a favour in return for when we need it. Disputing whether this is right or wrong would be fruitless, as for most people and in most circumstances, other than charitable giving, and help or support for the needy, reciprocity is something we have inherently come to expect. That said it is also about balancing our reciprocity expectations and questioning whether or not they are realistic.

True and genuine people
A true and genuine person is open to the world and cherishes their relationships. Gracious, giving and protective of their own families, friends and lovers, but yes the flip side is that they expect the same from others……in the form of reciprocity…. and when it comes to business relationships reciprocity under these circumstances is not unreasonable.

Playing by the reciprocity rules
Reciprocity could be described as “playing by the rules”, allowing for “fair game”, and in an ideal world should form part of your business relationship ‘guiding principles”…
– Meet me halfway, as we are there waiting for you
– Nurture our relationship, as what we reap ….we shall sow
– Be insightful and considerate, as we are to you
– Aspire with us and our shared dreams will come true faster
– Cheer for us and we will double our victories
– Rejoice with us and our celebrations will multiply
– Live, achieve and prosper with us
– The objectives become closer when we walked and work together
– Reciprocate to us as we have pledged our reciprocity to you

Key to reciprocity relationships
Reciprocity is the key to good business relationships, but remember that it is always better to give than to receive…..and also at the end of the day a real, true, genuine life lasting ‘business relationship is all about ‘balance’ as well as reciprocity.

Does the business partner you work with practice reciprocity?
If not then please contact me
Trisha Proud
Partners in Solutions Ltd


Givers and Takers

Givers&Takers098 Correction

As a general rule of thumb it is said that it is better to give than to receive; this ethos presumably supports the notion that we all follow the principal of treating others as you would wish to be treated ourselves.

Within my novel “Soulmate” I have research various ‘life lessons’ on false flattery, betrayal, injustice, deceit and the hardest lesson of all of course, the lesson of love; one aspect that quickly became clear was that without exception there are most definitely two types of people in life…”Givers”….and “Takers”

“Givers” are not only generous people by nature not limited to particularly in financial terms, but they ‘give’ endless, of themselves, or their time. We can all most probably think of the “Givers” that we know and have met through our lives. We remember “Givers” with a warm heart as their kindest stays with us long after they have left. We all like to think of ourselves as “Givers”. Every women I interviewed who was searching for her ‘soulmate’ wanted to meet a “Giver”.

On the other hand “Takers” are basically only interested in themselves, they only contact you when they want something and will rarely, if ever ask how ‘you’ are. They are by nature intrinsically insincere and will often display a very different persona in private to the one they show in public. “Takers” like to talk about themselves and have this somewhat unique and rather irritating technique of being able to turn any conversation, on any subject matter back to them and their needs.

Utterly ruthless, in both persistence and pursuance “Takers” chew away at the bone like a rabid dog until they get what they want.  The old adage of if you cannot say something nice then better not to say anything at all does not appear in the “Takers” mind-set. They speak negatively about people who don’t or won’t do what they want or who challenge them in any way. 

As hard as it may be to believe “Takers” are more often than not insure. They will endeavour to disguise their insecurities by being full of their own self importance, name dropping whenever possible to raise their perceived level of importance; because they like to talk about themselves they will brag about whose company they have been in, who they know and what they have done.

The bragging does not stop there as “Takers” truly do believe in their own propaganda, if they say that they are an expert, they believe it! It is rare for a “Taker” to wait for a compliment or acknowledgement of their skills because before you can comment they will have told you just how wonderful they are!

On the flip side they will compliment others; however such compliments are often regarded as ‘over the top’. “Takers” love a touch of ‘false flattery’, but beware as compliments deliver this ways will almost certainly be followed by a request for one favour or another. “Takers” are not ‘joiners’ and if they do join social or business groups it is to be seen to do so, they will rarely, if ever actively make any real contribution to blogs or debate. One of the prime reasons for this is that they find it almost impossible to ‘actively listen’.  “Takers” find it difficult to physically demonstrate that they are listening to play back their understanding of what has been said; to identify body language and gestures; to have any ability to ‘read between the lines’ and hear what has not be said and this is because “Takers” are so insular and myopic.

In my novel “Soulmate” there are “Takers”, both male and female. One character in particular I refer to as “Charm Syndrome Man” or in others words a “Taker”…an ‘emotional manipulator’.  These type of people are so hard to spot particularly as they think that they are normal and don’t believe that they are doing anything wrong.  What you have to remember about “Takers” is that at the end of the day they are only really seeking your opinion in order to valid and confirm theirs. “Takers” have an inbuilt sense of entitlement in order to get their own way……… no matter what.

So if you are dating or working with somebody that talks constantly about themselves, that never really appears to be listening to what you have to say, or that is always reliant on you for some favour or other then beware as you will most certainly be dating or working with a “Taker”.

So are you a “Giver” or a “Taker”?

Do you know the price of everything – but the value of nothing?

Oscar Wilde
Irish poet and dramatist

It was Oscar Wilde that famously said A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”; but what does it really mean?  On the face of it the answer in today’s busy commercial world is very clear:

  • Firstly it is imperative in business to know the price of everything, in case we should dare fall short of our financial targets or over spend our budgets.
  • With the fading into the background of out dated “Mission Statements” the new genre is “Company Values”. This is no bad thing as it helps to instil meaning and integrity, focussing the employee on the cultural issues of the organisation in which they work.

These though are two separate statements, still standing alone with no connection. Where does knowing “the price of everything” and “the value of nothing” actually come together?

The answer to this rests in all aspects of our lives; across all streams of our lives from home, work, family and friends. To truly understand the phrase one should not look or endeavour to analyse it in two separate halves, because they are, and always have been intrinsically linked; and this is the very essence of Wilde’s point. It is useless to know the £’s price of something and yet not fully understand its true ‘non monetary value’. For example:

Cost vs. Value of Employees – We may know how much an employee costs to employ, but do we truly know what “value” they can bring to the organisation. Whenever I probe organisations on this sensitive and difficult topic, 98% of the time the answer is no. This is shameful on two counts:

  • Firstly research tells us that above all else employees want and more importantly ‘need’ to feel valued. If an employer doesn’t fully understand the true ‘value’ of individuals then the employer – employee relationship will breakdown.
  • Secondly from a motivational and business perspective it is an employer’s responsibility to fully ‘exploit’, in the nicest possible way, an employee’s contribution in order to make business even more successful. If the employee doesn’t feel stretched and challenged then they will leave.

Business Income vs. Value  – In terms of Customer Service and Business Selling it is not just about knowing what the £’s value of what new and existing customers can bring; but equally important is establishing the often unknown ‘non monetary value’.

As a trainer of “Strategic Selling” all too often the comprehension of this message gets sadly overlooked in many businesses today. Sellers and Customer Service Teams do not know:

  • Where their existing or potential customers have worked before
  • What their customer values are
  • What committees or business boards their key clients sit on or attend
  • The broader network of their key clients and who is in that network

These are just some of the errors made in business today by people”who know the price of everything and the value of nothing”.

Trisha Proud – Partners in Solutions Ltd

Trisha Proud

Trisha Proud

Trisha Proud – Managing Partner of Partners in Solutions Ltd
“Independant Business Support” …..delivering the very best training and consultancy