Washington Business Report - August 10, 2014

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - When it comes to success in your professional (and personal) life, the law of reciprocity can help you succeed, says workplace expert Mary Abbajay of Careerstone Group.

Abbajay has six rules of using the favor bank to help you achieve your personal and professional goals. She shared them with Rebecca Cooper, host of Washington Business Report:

1. You have to give to get
o Make regular deposits
o Provide value—not just generosity
o Favors should be granted without any expectation for “repayment”
o Make more deposits than withdrawals

2. Be realistic, specific, and considerate
o Don’t ask for too much—know the difference from big and little favors
o Make it easy for the giver to give
o Be clear about what you want/need from the other person

3. Don’t go to the same well too many times
o Favors often involve others—don’t overuse your connections
o Don’t ask the same person multiple times without reciprocating

4. Show gratitude and follow up
o Always show gratitude for people immediately upon asking for a favor—even if they can’t give it to you, you must show appreciation
o Follow up after the favor is granted—let the person know the result of favor

5. Return favors!
o If someone has done a favor for you—must repay in kind

6. Say 'no' with grace
o You always have the right to say “no” to favors (unless you owe that person)
o Be kind but direct
o If possible, explain why you can’t - at this time - help them
o Try to point them towards another resource, if possible