A girlfriend I love dearly called me a few weeks back and asked me, in a bit of flap, if I could pick up her child in a couple of hours from after school care because she had a work event that was running late. I’d do anything for her, so I rearranged what I had planned for that afternoon and made myself available for her. In the end, I wasn’t actually needed, but regardless I would have been if necessary and it wouldn’t have mattered the favour. If she asked me – I’d work my butt off to do it.
As a personal friend and someone I care dearly about – her favour bank with me is always full. I know that I could pick up the phone to her and make the same call and, if she could, she’d be there for me. I’m sure you have a number of personal friends with exactly the same relationships.
What about at work though? How full is your work favour bank? Among our amazing team one staff member pops to mind when I think of a favour bank. She always goes above and beyond, never takes any small gesture for granted, feels apologetic if she needs to go to a doctors appointment, will always try to help wherever possible. Is she a perfect robot team member who never gets anything wrong? No, she’s a junior staff member and she’s learning the ropes of working in an office. But if she called me after hours and asked me to do a personal favour for her because she needed it, I wouldn’t think twice. I think for any of her workmates, myself absolutely included, her favour bank would be full – and yet, she’ll probably never call on it (that’s just the kind of girl she is) and she’d be horrifically embarrassed to think I’d written this about her.
In my industry – real estate, there’s always a need for a full favour bank. You’re under the pump, you have 6 appointments straight and you need X done – who can you call on? A colleague who financially will gain nothing from helping you? Only if your favour bank is full (or if you’re terrifying!)
What can you do to fill your favour bank? Its simple: good deeds inspire reciprocity. It’s one of my favourite words and it simply means that if you’re helpful to others, if you’re generous, if you’re giving, you’ll inspire them to want to do the same in return for you. How are you inspiring reciprocity and filling your favour bank today?