Favors: The Currency of Collaboration (Five ways it's a weird currency)

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Favors: The Currency of Collaboration

When your position on the org chart doesn’t give you the role power to have someone do something for you, you must rely on your influence or your relationship to foster collaboration.

And in the world of business, building relationships and influence through collaboration uses a unique form of currency: the granting of favors.

But it’s a weird kind of currency. Here are a few tips when exchanging favors to foster collaboration:

👉 Value is rarely balanced. You can often create far more value to the other person than it costs you to do the favor. The opposite can also be true.

👉 It’s better to decline to do a favor than to commit and not follow through, or to do it and resent the person who asked. This is especially true if the cost to you is greater than the value to the other person.

👉 If you are using your position to compel a direct report to do something, you’re not asking for a favor. Don’t call it one. If it’s really a favor, make it clear that they can decline with no consequences or hard feelings.

👉 When you give a favor, it will often be paid back by someone else. If you must keep track, track your “payable” favors, but not your “receivable” ones.

👉 Many people don’t like the feeling of owing favors. Sometimes asking for one can be as much of a gift as granting one.

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