When people talk about reciprocity, they start with tangible or material things.
They’ll be talking about giving the right present and receiving one that is comparable, they will talk about invitations extended and received, they will talk about an equal distribution of having reached out.
All of this is somewhat easily measurable and visible.
The type of reciprocity they pay less attention to is one where reciprocity involves the ability to take and give, to being willing to help someone do as well as to be willing to simply be with them watching them do, to attend to others’ needs as well as let them attend to yours.
This type of reciprocity is about taking one’s responsibility and letting others attend to theirs. It recognizes the interdependence of needs.
However, what often happens is that people aim to put others in debt and avoid feeling in someone else’s debt.
It is a type of reciprocity that involves the intangible as well as one’s vulnerability. It’s nothing money can buy.
It is one of the skills leaders may find hard to acquire.