Are you interested in strengthening your social network yet aren't sure what you have to offer, are limited in time or don't even know where to start?
Keith Ferrazzi, author of "Never Eat Alone" and "Who's Got Your Back," talks about "Universal Currency." These are the things everyone has to offer no matter who you are or what your role is at an organization. To me, this is a powerful concept and very simple to implement. One example of universal currency is to "acknowledge" someone yet I find it is often under-utilized.
A couple definitions of acknowledge in the Merriam-Webster dictionary are "to express gratitude" and "to take notice of."
The simple act of noticing someone gives them a small dose of pleasure. Social media has made it very easy to acknowledge someone. Consider how you feel when someone has "Liked" or commented on your Facebook or LinkedIn status.
There has been discussion in articles such as this one on how Facebook interactions stimulate the release of pleasure chemicals in the brain.
Acknowledging someone can take very little time on your part yet have an impact on them. Some ideas for you to acknowledge someone include:
• Provide an unsolicited recommendation or Endorsement on LinkedIn
• "Like" or comment on someone's LinkedIn status update
• Send some holiday cards
• Send a thank-you email to someone who helped you the day before
• Smile when you see someone first thing in the morning
You certainly should not expect to receive something in return for acknowledging someone. Your intent should be to help someone feel good during their day. However, due to the principal of reciprocity I think you will find you will start receiving things in return. People respond to a positive action with another positive action.
Acknowledgement is a habit. My challenge for you is over the next 10 days take 5 minutes each day to proactively acknowledge someone. See what happens.