payitforwardThe pay it forward” philosophy is a way to build relationships and do well for others without the expectancy of a gain for themselves in return. I believe it is possible to find a way to affect others in a positive way regardless of what your title is within an organization. I find that we are all have a passion toward making a difference in the lives of others.

People typically say that paying it forward can boost business. That may be true but the reasoning for doing it should be altruistic or it never comes across authentic. Another way to think about this concept in business is that it is like the cross-pollinating of ideas, thoughts, and building formal and informal connections. The more we apply this concept in our everyday lives, the easier it will transcend into our work and volunteer efforts.

Individually opportunities via social or informal networking opportunities give you an opportunity to engage with colleagues, peers, customers and prospects. You can interact by listening, getting their opinions, and forming a more intimate relationship with them than you might otherwise be able to at a more formal meeting. Paying it forward is an essential element of being an outstanding listen and sharer of information and ideas. It benefits all parties involved from which rewards will accrue. Invest in social media and it gives you the opportunity to engage with customers, and similar businesses on a more global scale. You can interact with customers from around the world, to listen, get their opinions, to form a more intimate relationship with them than you might otherwise be able to.

Paying it forward requires time, energy, passion and an authenticity about it. People typically say they do not have the time as their main reason to not participate. Simply by looking for ways to meet new and existing customers’ needs or by becoming a “friend” and trusted advisor — whatever the domain area, and without regard to whether their needs can be solved directly by your products or services — you increase the value that you deliver to your customer. They may then turn to you first with belief, loyalty, and hope that you will provide a suggestion or recommendation that meets their needs in the future.

The positive ripple effect of kindness acts is happening in many places around the world. Studies have shown that the effects of kindness not only make you feel good but also improve your mental and physical health, increases morale, builds credibility and trust, and builds effective work teams among your organization. The pay it forward attitude that our society is adapting more and more every day is really picking up momentum and becoming a big trend that will hopefully stick around for a long time. Bottom line – it is about doing what is right in professionally and personally.

What are you doing as an individual? Mentoring, guiding, connecting people, ideas, succession training, listening or?

Watch for my next blog for business ideas for paying it forward.





      • Good post. Marsha: Sustainable networkers, especially those that were in the game pre-collaborative tools of Web 2.0, always subscribed to “paying it forward.” Actually they positioned themselves as Mavens, people that shared information/wisdom. It is so much easier now, but unfortunately most networkers have a “what is in it for me” mindset, thus do not understand the concept of paying it forward.

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