Let’s talk about networking and reciprocity.  

Most of us equate the two. We do a favor for someone in our network, and we anticipate they will reciprocate.

Here’s an alternative mindset to consider: 
 

Equate networking with GENEROSITY.

Talk About Talk - Episode 152 - Generous Communication are you a giver or a taker - Andrea Wojnicki - Generosity - Andrea and Wojnicki and Sharon Mah-Gin sitting together smiling - The following quote is by Sharon Mah-Gin "Successful networking is not about selling yourself. It's not even bout reciprocity. It's about adding value. Be generous!"

 

One of the most generous people I know is Sharon Mah-Gin, a successful executive recruiter. Sharon talks about how we should “add value” or be generous when we’re networking.

You know that icky feeling you get when you hear the word “networking?” When we equate networking with GENEROSITY, suddenly that icky feeling is gone!

3 Things to Talk About GENEROSITY: 

  1. Pro-social behaviour
  2. 5 ways to be generous
  3. More communication insights for you

 


1️⃣ Pro-social behaviour

Talk About Talk - Episode 152 - Generous Communication are you a giver or a taker - Andrea Wojnicki - generosity - Person in suit standing at a doorway smiling, image from canva

In academia, they talk about GENEROSITY as PRO-SOCIAL BEHAVIOR. This is about  “actions intended to benefit others”.  

PRO-SOCIAL BEHAVIOR can be as simple as holding the door open for someone. Or, it can be the colleague who steps in without being asked, offering to lighten your load or to stay late and help you finalize the project. It’s giving without the expectation of immediate return. 

There are 3 types of pro-social behaviour:

  1. Proactive: The behaviors are done because there is a benefit to the individual performing the behavior.
  2. Reactive: These behaviors are a result of a need recognized in others.
  3. Altruistic: Altruistic behaviors are motivated by nothing more than doing good for others.

So, what does the research say about all this? Research – mostly in organizational behavior and psychology –  tell us that generosity pays off, not just in “good vibes” but in concrete outcomes. 

Talk About Talk - Episode 152 - Generous Communication are you a giver or a taker - Andrea Wojnicki - 4 benefits of being a generous givier - Generosity

I’ve included links in the shownotes for this week’s Talk About Talk podcast to some of the papers that highlight these benefits or you can listen to the episode for a quick summary of the 4 main benefits.

 


2️⃣ 5 ways to be generous

I’ve got a list for you of five (no, not three this time...) ways to be generous:

  1. Sharing resources with others –  money, software, staffing capability, office space…things you have which can benefit others. 

  2. Providing expertise and knowledge. – one-on-one or publicly, it’s about showing someone how to do something. 

  3. Mentoring and coaching –  supporting someone’s personal development, formally or informally. It’s also a great way to reinforce your status – your brand – as a leader.

  4. Recognizing others – praising, acknowledging and appreciating the achievements and contributions of others.  It can also be providing job references, or writing recommendations or even endorsing posts or skills on LinkedIn to enhance their profile and career opportunities.

  5. Making introductions – this is networking at its best! Introduce your peer to someone more senior in the organization who might help them out.  Or introduce your salesperson to someone you know who might become a customer….you get the idea. 

I hope this inspires you to take action and be generous!

Talk About Talk - Episode 152 - Generous Communication are you a giver or a taker - Andrea Wojnicki - 5 ways to be generous at work - Generosity

 


3️⃣ More communication insights for you –
My LinkedIn newsletter

Talk About Talk - Episode 152 - Generous Communication are you a giver or a taker - Generosity - Andrea Wojnicki - Talking about Talk LinkedIn Newsletter Header

Being a “generous thought leader” is one of my core strategies for Talk About Talk. Specifically, this means following suggestion #2 above (providing expertise and knowledge). I do so through my podcasts, my Inc. magazine column, and through newsletters – including this one!

Did you know I also have another newsletter? You can get more communication coaching from me through in my LinkedIn newsletter, called “Talking About Talk”  It comes out on alternate weeks to this newsletter, doing a deeper dive into a different topic.  Please subscribe and get more executive communication coaching tips straight to your inbox!

 


There you go – 3 things to Talk About this week:

1️⃣Pro-social behaviour
2️⃣5 ways to be generous
3️⃣More communication insights for you – my LinkedIn newsletter

You can learn more about generosity and the four main benefits of being generous in this week’s Talk About Talk podcast ep.152 on Apple, Spotify, or YOUTUBE or wherever you listen to podcasts.

 

Talk About Talk - Episode 152 - Generous Communication are you a giver or a taker - Andrea Wojnicki -Title Card - Generosity newsletter     

Have a great week.