Category Archives: Reciprocity

Reciprocity, give and take a little bit

I'm looking forward to reading Adam Grant's book Give and Take (aadl).  Look in the March 31 NY Times Magazine for a preview, featuring a quote from the U of Michigan's Jerry Davis. At the moment I'm 33d on a list of 53 holds at the library for the book; if you're generous, and have finished your copy, please lend it to me!

The table of contents and blurb, from the AADL catalog:

Good returns: the dangers and rewards of giving more than you get — The peacock and the panda: how givers, takers, and matchers build networks — The ripple effect: collaboration and the dynamics of giving and taking credit — Finding the diamond in the rough: the fact and fiction of recognizing potential — The power of powerless communication: how to be modest and influence people — The art of motivation maintenance: why some givers burn out but others are on fire — Chump change: overcoming the doormat effect — The scrooge shift: why a soccer team, a fingerprint, and a name can tilt us in the other direction — Out of the shadows.

Using his own cutting-edge research as a professor at Wharton Business School, Adam Grant shows how helping others can lead to greater personal success. He demonstrates how smart givers avoid becoming doormats, and why this kind of success has the power to transform not just individuals and groups, but entire organisations and communities.

I'm particularly intrigued by the notion that there's a distinction that creates "smart givers" that win some unspecified game through a generous strategy that pays off for them.



Some notes from a lunchtime talk on social media

A few highlights, not the whole talk.

My notes for the talk were the four words: novelty, reciprocity, frequency, mobility.

For novelty I spoke to the notion that people are on a perpetual search for the next new thing, and that any solution to any problem has to be revisited periodically in the light of this.

Reciprocity is the notion that people will respond in kind if you act generously to them, and I spoke to how this plays out in social media with "friends" and "followers" and "likes" as the actions often reciprocated.

Regarding frequency, the notion is that communications media have a natural rhythm, and that you need to be aware of how often you post or comment so that you don't either overrun the medium or be so quiet as to be unnoticed.

Finally mobility is the observation that more and more people are coming to the net primarily through mobile devices and if you want to serve them you need to have a solution for your web and net presence that looks good on the small screen.

I was greeted with a fair degree of skepticism about the value of social media for business, especially from someone who cancelled his Facebook account and never has been on Twitter. There was good discussion of how hard it is to simultaneously be brand-conscious and be aware of a professional persona vs. sharing details of a personal life. I think it's harder for people in an agency role whose job it is to make the client look good but who don't have to have a personal public identity in order to do their work.

Some day when I retire I'll give up on social media entirely and just send postcards to people – they are novel compared to the communciations that people mostly get, they're quite portable and mobile, no one expects a frequency of a postcard more than once in a long while, and if you send postcards you're likely to get postcards in return.

Related articles

How to write for multiple social media channels at once
"Social Media is About Being Social" by Corey Smith
Social Media Winter is Coming – An Infographic
guardian tecnologia: Getting to grips with social media
Quit Holding Social Media To a Different Standard

a2b3 protocol shift: one brief thing you’d like to do, see, learn, someone to talk to, a goal to reach or a crisis to solve

For the next lunch meeting, we're following this suggestion by Bill Tozier:

From today's lunch: When we go around next time with the name-and-who-we-are thing, could we instead offer up name-and-what-we-want?

In other words, say one brief thing you'd like to do, or see, or learn. Somebody to talk to, a goal, a crisis looking for a solution. Regardless of scale.

Might make an interesting hook for setting up a reciprocity network.

More on organized reciprocity here ("Reciprocity Rings in Organizations").

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