Business

It only took me 15 years to realize that the give-and-get rule is the secret weapon of the most successful business leaders.

During my career, I have spent a lot of time with sales experts, business coaches and executives. Their goal is more or less the same: To grow. Develop your customer base, increase your income, increase your impact. Some have claimed to have the winning recipe for this growth – no matter what industry or niche you are in. I never could pin it down, however.

And then I understood. That’s not to say that I have the secret to landing millions of dollars in sales or sales across the stratosphere, but I have observed a commonality among those who have consistently grown; I just didn’t see it at first because I was so focused on the goal and not the trip.

Every successful business person I have met over the past 15 years has applied the give-get rule in their relationships.

The principle is simple. Incredibly simple. It goes like this: whenever someone asks you for something, be ready to give it. But make sure you get something in return.

It seems a little greedy at first, I admit, until you crop it slightly. A relationship is always a give and take, a push-pull. It is commitment that makes it flourish. Giving / receiving isn’t just about money, it can be anything, really – information, comments, advice, emotional openness. It’s not just the tangible things that count here. And you don’t always have to ask for a “get” to get one (sometimes it comes free). However, you must view each interaction as a balance between giving and receiving.

So when you engage others, ask yourself, “What am I giving and what am I getting?” “

The most successful relationships are those where the give / get is balanced. Each person or group gives as much as they get. The act of giving and getting is where growth takes place – we learn a little more, share a little more, build stronger bonds, gain more knowledge and wisdom.

You can say: the noble thing would be to give without hoping to obtain. And to some extent you are correct. But it is often used to talk about things of physical or monetary value. In relationships, give / get is how the connection is made. This is how communities thrive. And that’s how we progress.

I don’t have a magic formula for closing more deals, building new customers, or increasing income. These are specific to each company. But I know that growth begins with a give / get. If that’s not your priority, either you’ll live in perpetual imbalance (and stagnate or fall backwards), or you’ll find momentary wins that quickly fade away.

Want a cohesive relationship, business, and personal growth? Give as much as you get. Get as much as you give.

The opinions expressed here by the columnists of Inc.com are theirs and not those of Inc.com.

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