(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


It was popular a few years ago to use the term “give first” as part of a process of building an awareness of you in your chosen market. It was intended to trigger a basic human response to want to give back due to having someone feel they were in your debt. In other words, give first and start the process of reciprocity.

Reciprocity is real. It’s a law-of-the-universe, what-goes-around-comes-around kind of thing.

Not bad, just laced with possible problems. The biggest is that expecting reciprocity creates, well, expectations that something should occur, something should come back. It has the focus be on the ‘what’s coming back.’

Generosity is different. It is based only on what you want to do because it is who you are. If you’re feeling generous, give. If you’re not, don’t. There is no ‘should’ in being generous. No attachment to any outcome. Simply enjoy being generous.

Generosity is not an action so much as it is a way of being. It comes from a deep, loving, inner feeling of abundance. Generous people feel part of the flow of life.

A humorous fact is that generosity usually triggers reciprocity! Just know that if you’re focused on what you expect back rather than on what you’re sending out, it may be only reciprocity. Generosity may not be present.


Coaching Point: Can you afford to be generous?


Copyright 2014 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.