Give and Take

Posted by Brenda Yoho

Adam Grant is one of the authors I just started reading, watching on TedTalk and Podcast, and engaging with social media platforms. His work provides you with thoughts, ideas, and resources. In his 2013 book, Give and Take: Why helping others drives our success, he provides research into the behaviors we express as we interact in the workplace and at home. Most importantly, how these behavioral patterns influence our outcomes.

As you take a look around at your co-workers and yourself, who identifies as givers or takers? How does this work? Is it better to be a giver of the taker? Can you be both? He also identifies what he calls a Matcher group, which gives if you give back equally. Which one do you identify within your life? Do you think you are a giver, taker, or matcher at work and home?

As an organizational psychologist at Wharton, Adam Grant is an outstanding professor. His work helps others engage in learning deeper. I hope you pick up his books listen to his TedTalk or podcasts. I do not think you will be disappointed.

In my professional career, I can remember early on hearing people described as givers or takers. I cannot recall if I have ever engaged in these conversations, but I am sure I have. Many times we engage in discussions to describe someone and to give some attributes to them. Some nice and some not so nice.

“All she does is take, take and take. I have never seen her sign up to volunteer for anything but is the first to sign up when we are giving something away.” I believe Adam would say this is a taker. Someone who will take as much as they can from you without contributing anything in return.

“There he goes out to help Jan with her flat tire. Last week he gave a ride home to Joe after his car wouldn’t start. I don't know why he does all these things. He is always so giving to others. You know Joe wouldn’t do that for him.” An excellent description of a giver. Someone who gives without ever hoping or expecting to have anything in return.

“Becky, can you help me on Friday with the kids for a couple of hours. Sure I can! I was going to ask if you could help me next week for a couple of hours too!” Adam Grant refers to this group as the Matcher group. An individual that will help you if you help them. Scratch my back, and I will scratch yours.

His book is excellent, and I encourage you to give it a read. What category is more successful: Giver, Taker, or Matcher? Could you give it some thought before you move on?

Surprisingly, the Givers will be the ones to help with success! They are team players. Always eager to help, provide support and encouragement as they build trust and establish a positive trusting reputation.

This is a quick dip into this conversation, but I encourage you to look deeper into it as an individual and team. We barely got our toes wet, and there is more depth to our learning on this topic.

"I only have 2 rules!"
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