Would You Like a Photo Taken? (WT507)

Would You Like a Photo Taken? (WT507)


WT507 Would You Like A Photo Taken

I’ve been listening to Robert Cialdini’s audio book “Influence” as I’ve been driving around Tasmania.

One of his 6 principles to influence people and encourage compliance is “Reciprocity” or in other words, “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”.

This week, I was fascinated to watch the psychology in action. 

We went for a walk to Wineglass Bay lookout in the Freycinet National Park in Tasmania. It was about 1.5 hours from the carpark through absolutely stunning landscapes of rocks and trees.

Of course we were not the only tourists making our way to the lookout.

When we made it to the top, it was standing room only as each group took their photos on cameras and smart phones.

“Would you like a photo taken?” asked one of the travelers.

“Oh! Yes, thank you, that would be nice,” I replied.

We posed. He clicked and then retook the photo on his wife’s instructions for a better position.

And then I witnessed the psychology in action.

“Can we return the favour”, I asked, without thinking. “Would you like a photo, too?”

Of course they did, so I handed Ross their camera and he did the honours.

It was our turn a little later to offer to take another couple’s photo and as if like clockwork, they offered to return the favour to us.

I was fascinated.

The science shows us that when we offer to do something for another, often unexpected and without expectation, the result is that the other feels obligated to us in some way and so as far as their brains go, they want to wipe the slate clean and not be obligated or owing in anyway.

Cialdini also explains that Reciprocity is necessary for us all to survive. We need others to do things for us and to help us. We can’t do everything by and for ourselves, so it’s not a bad thing. It only becomes negative when unscrupulous people use the science to manipulate us into complying with what they want.

Your action this week is to take notice of Reciprocity. Notice when you offer to do things for people or just do them without expectation and notice when others do things for you. Notice how you feel. See if you feel obligated to clear the slate by doing something nice for them or as BNI teaches, Givers Gain. See if you feel compelled to pay it forward and thereby wipe your slate clean by giving to someone else.

Be Generous (WT502)

Be Generous (WT502)


WT502 Be Generous

Still travelling, this week we sailed from Port Melbourne to Devonport in Tasmania. We stayed overnight not far from the harbour, overlooking the ocean before heading to Launceston for the city’s annual Festivale. 

Festivale is like an expo of local food and wine, located in City Park, right in the middle of town. It rained almost as soon as we arrived and continued for the most part over the 3 day festival. Having dodged the fires on the south coast of NSW we didn’t mind the rain, even though we were travelling on the motorbike. 

Now to the point of the story. As we walked around, sampling the local food and wine, chatting to various visitors and sharing our table with others who were also doing their best to escape the rain, sitting under an enormous tree, we noticed the effect that stall holders had on the number of customers they attracted. 

To sample the wine, we first had to buy a plastic wine tumbler, which the stallholders would fill (for a fee, of course). 

The server at the first stall I went to was “stingy” with her sampling. Inwardly raising my eyebrows, I wasn’t surprised at all to see Ross’ reaction when I gave him his glass and told him what I paid. Later that night, one of our new friends came back from the same stallholder and complained how little wine she poured. Unlike me, she mentioned it to the server when she noticed another customer had received almost double in his tumbler, to which the server grudgingly poured a little extra. We all agreed, it didn’t matter whether the wine was the best there was, we wouldn’t return to that stall. 

When it was Ross’ turn to choose a sample, he had the exact opposite experience. His server, who also happened to be the winemaker chatted with him and was extremely generous and gracious with his sample.  

As a result, Ross told lots of people about the stall and the generosity of the winemaker, referring people to this stall. We also went back to sample some of the different wines they produced and ended up buying a bottle of wine to celebrate our upcoming 30th wedding anniversary. 

Being generous is easy to do. It’s also good for business. The hospitality industry requires workers to be hospitable. Being generous is a major factor. 

Now to you. Whether or not you are in the hospitality industry, would your customers say you are generous? Are they referring others to you because of your hospitality or gracious way of serving them?  

Remember the Law of Reciprocity; in other words what you give, you get (although not necessarily from the same person).

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