Can Your Career Pass This Critical Test?

In business, your success revolves around the strength of your relationships. Yes, talent and hard work matter, but without strong relationships... others may fail to recognize or appreciate your accomplishments.
Given this, I'd like to offer a remarkably simple and effective way to test whether you are building relationships that are strong enough to weather the toughest challenges and biggest opportunities:
Do you help others three times as often as you ask for help?
Let me break this down a bit...
Most of us are pretty busy. It's easy to get caught up in our work and not think about others until we, well, need something from them. Do this once, and it might be okay. But do it two or three times, and the other person starts to suspect you are a self-involved taker.
A few among us are born givers, so focused on the needs of others that all they do is give, give, give. These people tend to get stuck, because the next person who asks for help causes them to drop everything.
A few others are born takers, selfish beyond belief. But selfish people aren't necessarily stupid, and even these folks can recognize when their pleas for help start falling on deaf ears.
In all these cases, living by this 3:1 ratio can change the direction of your career.
For most of the people in the middle, 3:1 provides a simple reminder that successful networkers help others significantly more than they ask for help.
For givers, 3:1 reminds them that their needs matter, too.
For takers, 3:1 reminds them to disguise their manipulative ways with enough kindness to ensure they get what they want.
Wait a minute... aren't I suggesting that you, too, be manipulative?
It does not matter. To those who have idealistic views of the world, and want everyone to do the right thing just because it is the right thing to do, I say that while we are waiting for that to happen, let's nudge the world in the right direction.
3:1 works. It benefits others, and it strengthens your business relationships.
3:1 moves our world - and your network - in the direction of altruism and generosity. Even if based on selfish motives, it still does good.
How do you implement this? That depends on how needy you are. If you ask for one or two favors a day, you better start proactively helping others three to six times a day.
By the way, if you find 3:1 "impossibly" difficult to live by, then you have just discovered why you lack many strong relationships.


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