Based on decades of social science research, the book Give and Take by Professor Adam Grant, organizational psychology professor at the Wharton School of Business, divides the workplace world into three types of people—givers, matchers, and takers (Tweet it!).
Givers give without expectation of immediate gain, sharing credit and mentoring generously. Matchers give when they think they will get something of equal value in return and give to people who they think can help them. Takers seek to come out ahead, managing up and defending their turf. Most people he surveyed fall into the matcher category — but givers, Grant says, “are overrepresented at both ends of the spectrum of success: they are the doormats who go nowhere or burn out, and they are the stars whose giving motivates them or distinguishes them as leaders.”
The most successful givers, Grant explains, are those who rate high in concern for others but also in self-interest (Tweet it!). Strategic in their giving, they give to other givers and matchers, but are cautious about giving to takers for fear of being exploited. Successful givers give in ways that reinforce their social ties; and they consolidate their giving into chunks, so that the impact is intense enough to be gratifying. (Grant incorporates his field’s findings into his own life, meeting with students four and a half hours in one day rather than spreading meetings over the week because a study found that consolidating giving yields more happiness.)
We want to hear: Do you consider yourself a “giver?” If so, what might you do to make your giving more successful? To join the conversation, click "comments" on our Community of Practice Forum.
If you would like to read more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion.