Reciprocity Practices are the conscious actions we can take to help us maintain our ‘other-discovery’ mindset.
In the day-to-day realities of any relationship, keeping our mindset focused on understanding what ‘the other’ is thinking and why they think that way is a constant and complex challenge. Meeting this challenge requires a conscious and deliberate practice – a reciprocity practice.
Important Note: Developing and maintaining a reciprocity mindset is not something you can learn about and immediately just do. It is a ‘practice’ – a practice in the sense of an activity that is done repeatedly to help bring about a desired experience. Derived from understanding deep principles, it is not a recipe so much as a meditation. It requires constant repetition, with the realisation that one will ALWAYS be learning.
MAINTAIN AN OTHER-DISCOVERY MINDSET WITH
Reciprocity Practice 1:
Approach all conversations with no result in mind, but with the sole intention of developing deeper inquiry, wherever that leads.
Concentrate on asking questions and developing new insights rather then providing answers and solutions
Celebrate difference in perspectives rather than promoting ‘one best’ point of view
Suspend our certainty and listen to the views of others with an open mind and open heart, rather than getting trapped in defending our existing positions
“Zen Master Jizo said that ‘not knowing is the most intimate thing.’ Not knowing means to be open to all eventualities, to not prejudge a person or situation. If your mind is full of preconceived notions, there is no room for an unbiased view. It is like when your hands are full of objects – you cannot pick up anything new. A closed mind causes separation and suspicion. Like an umbrella, a mind is only useful when it is open” (Tricycle.com)
“In most interactions, we take a defensive posture. We try to defend the brand, or our turf or our job. The problem with defense is that it's static. The best way to get smarter, to embrace and to cause change and to triumph in times of market turmoil is to ask yourself… "what do I believe that's wrong? How can I change the way I do things? What works? What doesn't?" If you enter a conversation looking for something to test, measure and ultimately change, it's likely you'll find it…On the other hand, if you enter a conversation concerned about maintaining the status quo, it's likely that this is exactly what you're going to do… Confirmation is cheap, easy and ineffective.” (sethgodin.typepad.com)
IN MOST INTERACTIONS
WE TAKE A
Reciprocity Practice 2:
Continually create opportunities for the emergence of collective insight.
Seek to create a ‘collective sensibility’ where the thoughts, ideas and resulting actions belong not to one individual but to all together
Encourage all to see how their own unique perspective can make a valuable contribution to the collective wisdom of the group
Focus on creating, developing and maintaining shared agreements
“People who are collectively attuned to more inclusive, less fragmented realities tend to be able to more readily find high-quality common ground and shared energy, often in ways that feel more like the Whole is working THROUGH them or AS them.” (Tom Atlee)
There is little doubt that bringing ‘reciprocity magic’ into our relationships is a formidable challenge.
It challenges us to overcome our conditioning to seek self-interest through self-discovery, self-advocacy and self-promotion.
It challenges us to overcome our conditioning to find the ‘one right answer’ using logic, order and control.
It challenges us to overcome our conditioning to expect that we can instantly know and do.
Finally, it challenges each and every one of us to confront our deepest and strongest conditioning every time we open our months. It challenges us to hold back from the conventional, ‘Let me tell you what I think’, and move comfortably to the eccentric, avant-garde, quirky, surprising and artistically innovative…
“Please, tell me what YOU think?”
“People have an instinct that informs them when you don’t care that much about what they like or need, and they have an instinct for the opposite just as well. It may seem a little artificial at first to track their likes and needs so blatantly, but that’s part of the process – it is, artificial at the beginning. Later it becomes second nature, but only because you have done everything artificially at first.” (Geshe Micheal Roche)