Are you a giver or a taker?

Are you a giver or a taker?

According to the Carnegie Institute, 85% of your success is determined by your people skills and only 15% by your technical skills. In his book, Give and Take, Adam Grant drills down even farther. He maintains that to be successful, you must be a giver.

You might be surprised. After all, isn’t business about making contacts and then using those contacts to benefit yourself and your career? How often have we heard, “It’s not what you know, but who you know?” And isn’t that the truth? Don’t most people simply do favors for others, so that they can then benefit from receiving favors? The answer to that question is, “It depends.”

According to Grant, there are three kinds of people in the world, givers, takers and matchers. Givers are always giving time, attention, advice, even resources to others with no thought about receiving something in return. Matchers also frequently give to others, but their giving is always modified by the expectation of receiving something in return. Matchers are concerned with being fair and  maintaining a balance. Consequently, they will only give if there is a reasonable expectation that they will receive something in return. Takers, as the name suggests, are out for themselves. Their main incentive for connecting with others is to benefit themselves in some way from the connection. They are less concerned with what they might give in return.

So while we all know and like givers, is it really to their advantage so be so generous? Again the answer is, “It depends.” Some givers are successful givers while others are self sacrificing givers. Those who are self sacrificing tend to burnout. Those who are successful know how to balance their time and energy so they can give even more and reap the benefits. Grant’s premise is proven by the results of numerous research studies. Givers, even more than takers, ultimately are more successful in careers although it is often not an immediate return.  

Want to take a quiz and learn if you are a giver, a taker or a matcher? Check it out here.

Next identify where you are best able to be a giver. Could you assist a colleague with a work assignment? Tutor an underachieving child or connect someone looking for a job with a resource that you know? Givers aren’t all volunteers for non profits (although they might be). Giving is more of an attitude than a specific kind of action or activity. But the benefits of being a giver are far reaching. 


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I am thoroughly enjoying…. not sure if that is the right word or not, your book.  It is very good, challenging me to be intentional for my life, and not just aimlessly living.  I’m taking it slow, really thinking about each chapter and thoughtfully making my charts, lists, vision and mission statements.  It is a book that is absolutely perfectly timed for my life.  

Thank you for following God’s leading in making this available to others — so many of us walk aimlessly stepping over all the God given gifts and talents that we have and not even blinking an eye.

~Jane Terkoski 

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