Create Success by Asking What You Can Do for Others

Interpersonal competence is one of the keys to personal and professional success that I discuss in Straight Talk for Success and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.  If you want to become interpersonally competent, you need to do three things.  1) Get to know yourself.  Use this self knowledge to better understand others.  2) Build strong, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with the important people in your life.  3) Resolve conflict amicably and with minimal disruption to your relationships.

“Give with no expectation of return” is one of the suggestions I make to people who want to expand and strengthen their relationships.  I follow this advice myself.  That’s one of the reasons I write this blog – to help people who are interested in building a success life and career.

On Monday, I did a blog post in which I highlighted Linda Salazar’s great book Awaken the Genie Within.  I wrote the post because I loved the book and thought it would be helpful to success seekers.

As it turns out, Linda thought that it helped her too.  I received this e mail from her the next day…


I am deeply touched by your blog write up that includes so much information about my book. You are obviously a man who walks his talk and you should know you have engrained yourself deep in my heart because there are not a lot of people in the world who do that.

Thank you so much. And I would like to reciprocate on my blog when I've gotten a least half-way through your book. I started it last night and am enjoying it greatly.

Understand this is not because I have to! This is truly because I want to and that's just the way it is!

What's so wonderful is the detail you give about yourself and your life at the start of the book – a perfect way to get to know the author before delving into his book – gives it such a personal touch.

Have a wonderful day and I'll be in touch.


Pretty cool, right?  I was trying to help readers of this blog by writing about Linda’s book – you really should get it and read it.  Linda saw it as helpful to her.  She took the time to write me a very nice note, and offered to reciprocate on her blog.

Linda and I now have a relationship – one that can benefit both us of personally and professionally – all because I mentioned her book in one of my blog posts.  That’s the power of giving with no expectation of return.

The common sense point here is clear.  Successful people are interpersonally competent.  Interpersonally competent people build strong relationships by giving with no expectation of return.  The next time you meet someone new ask yourself, “What can I do to help this person?”  Most people ask the opposite question, “How can this person help me?”  By thinking “how can I help” first you’ll be better able to build strong relationships that will pay off in your life and career.  Way back on January 20, 1961 in his inauguration speech John Kennedy said “Ask not what your country can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your country.”  These words – with a slight twist — are true today and will help you become known as an interpersonally competent person.  Ask not what others can do for you.  Ask what you can do for others.

That’s my take on building relationships by asking what you can do for others, not what they can do for you.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always thanks for reading. 


PS – Don’t forget to buy and read Awaken the Genie Within.


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