Reciprocation

Author: Nelson Coulter

One of the powerful conclusions we glean from research in the field of psychology is that of reciprocation. It is in our nature to mirror/reflect behavior others send in our direction. It’s as if we feel some powerful pull to respond in like kind.

As servant leaders we are wise to better understand the concept of reciprocation and to employ it in the dispatch of our work.

Some possibilities for us to consider:

  • Listening…more, talking less.
  • Respectfulness…for everyone, all the time, even when we don’t “feel” it.
  • Valuing…others and their contributions.
  • Performance…perseverate on outcomes and objectives.
  • Honor and accentuate strengths…minimizing focus on weaknesses.

Some people might describe that list as “norms.” Maybe so, but norms are worthless unless leadership persistently models them.

Worth noting is that reciprocation runs both ways. Whatever devaluing. self-serving, dishonoring, or deceitful behaviors we exhibit will most certainly be boomeranged back at us — usually in spades.

*If you’d like to read more of nc’s blatherings, go to www.nelsonwcoulter.com

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