Have you ever gone to another state on vacation and asked for directions, recommendations, or struck up a conversation with someone who lives there? I don't leave the state very often, but whenever I do, I always end up meeting friendly people. I'll come back home and tell everyone how nice the people are in that state. (I did this with Colorado especially.)
Is it just me, or is this pretty common? I've always wondered why this is the case, but if you think about it, maybe it's more simple than we realize.
First of all, when you ask someone for their input or opinion, it makes them feel special. I think more often than we assume, people actually enjoy helping other people. By asking someone for their advice, you're literally uplifting them by making them feel like an expert.
This is when the role of reciprocity kicks in.
Because you've uplifted this person, they're more likely to want to help. It's pretty cool when you think about it that way!
This can be applied to many areas of life. Asking other people questions about what they think can actually lead them to help you too.
On the flip side, establishing yourself as an expert by offering your own advice can have the same effect. If you are quick to help others from the position of someone who is confident in your work, they'll probably be more likely to accept it. (And they'll probably want to help you some other way in return.)
It's really simple when you think about it. Being nice pays off. Helping people pays off. Asking questions pays off too.