In the previous networking post, I employed the phrase mutually beneficial relationship six times. The question is… what is the difference between a mutually beneficial vs. a quid pro quo relationship?
This is a similar conversation I have in my Science of Persuasion class when we discuss the six weapons of influence. Influence: Science and Practice has always been one of my top 3 most recommended books and I like to call its author, Robert Cialdini Ph.D., the godfather of persuasion. In the book, Professor Cialdini outlines what he calls the six weapons of influence. The first of which (and easily one of the most effective of the six) is reciprocity (i.e., we should repay, in kind, what another person has provided us). This weapon works; it’s very powerful and interestingly, it works in both altruistic and nefarious situations.
In essence, reciprocity comes downs to… the intentions of its user. I’ve seen reciprocity used in many unethical applications. It feels slimy; you know someone is trying to use you and you want nothing to do with this individual…ever! This is a quid pro quo relationship – if you do this for me, I will do something for you. It has a short-term focus – no intention of a long-term relationship; this is just about this deal… right now.
Reciprocity in an altruistic application is more about the long-term, mutually beneficially relationship than a short-time deal. Both parties are looking out for the best for each other. In summary, this is the complete opposite of a quid pro quo relationship.
Something to think about today…
Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor of Marketing
Methodologist, Seton Hall Sports Poll
Stillman School of Business