Has someone ever helped you to the point that you sat at your desk and tried to think up ways to return the favor?
One such time happened for me in 2006 when a friend worked to get me on a team for a major project that resulted in an $800,000 contract from my company. What took her 15 minutes (time spent selling someone else on using my firms services) would have cost me 40 hours of phone calls, multiple lunches, and numerous meetings, and even still I wouldn’t have been guaranteed a spot on the team. Needless to say, I was not only thankful to my friend for her work, but I literally sat at my desk working up ways to return the favor.
The key to this story wasn’t how she helped to get me on the team; it is how your actions can motivate other people to help you. Those 15 minutes of work have resulted in dozens of referrals and project leads as I have worked to return the favor. As my friend focused on helping me, she was developing a mutually beneficial relationship that resulted in me working hard to help her.
If you are looking to increase your effectiveness, start by helping other people in your network. What can you do today that will leave someone else pondering what they can do to return the favor?