Givers, Takers, And Matchers

You’re at lunch with a friend who’s looking for a job. They tell you they’re integrin a company where your college friend works. You haven’t spoken to your friend in a few years. What do you do?

1, Tekk your friend you’ll make the introduction.

2. Tell your friend you’ll make the introduction, and then ask then for help with your own issue

3. Tell your friend you don’t feel comfortable making the introduction since you’re no longer in touch with your college friend.

Your answer to this question will reflect your “reciprocity style,” which is the way you approach interactions with others. According to the author of Give and Take, Adam Grant there are three different types of reciprocity types: givers, takers, and matches.

Givers, Takers, And Matchers

What’s the difference between these types?

Takers are self-focused and put their own interests ahead of others’ needs. They try to gain as much as possible in their interaction while contributing as little as they can in return.

Matches like to preserve an equal balance of giving and taking. Their mindset is: “If you take from me, ill take from you, if you give to me, I’ll give to you.”

Givers are others-focused and tend to provide support to others with no strings attached. They ask themselves, ‘ How can I add value to this person? What can I contribute?

So what type are you? It turns out most people hover in the middle and behave as matches, answering option 2 above (I’ll introduce you to my college friend, but I need help from you).

Humans have an innate tendency to be reciprocal, and givers and takers represent two extremes.

But while givers are the most generous in our society, matches play an important role. They make sure what goes around, comes around. They reward givers for their generous behavior and seem revenge when they or others, are being mistreated.

Givers, Takers, And Matchers At Work

Guess which of these types is the most successful at work,

It turns our, givers tend to be the worst performers. They are at a disadvantage across a wide range of occupations because they sacrifice their own success to help others succeed, according to Grant’s research.

So that must mean takers or matches are the top performers, right? Not exactly.

It’s the givers again.

Yes, you read that right. The worst performers at work are others-focused, and matchers tend to land in the middle.

Why is that? Since takers develop reputations for putting others last, matches tend to return the favor and try and knock them down, research shows. That’s why takers rarely succeed in building strong relationships and networks.

On the other hand, matches root for givers to succeed, since they tend to match good deeds with good deeds. Everyone loves, trusts, and supports givers since they add value to others and enrich the success of the people around them.

In short, givers succeed because their giving leads to quality relationships, which benefit them in the long run. With such strong relationships, it’s no wonder givers are also happier people then takers.

But wait, back up. If being a giver creates stronger relationships (and makes you happier), why are some givers at the bottom of the success ladder, while others are at the top?

Selfless Givers VS Otherish Givers

There are two types of givers: “selfless” givers and “otherish” givers.

Selfless givers, as you may have guessed, are the ones who drop everything to help people all the time, which means they tend to fall behind on their own work. Therefore, they usually end up at the bottom of the success ladder (though they’re still happier people than takers),

On the other hand, otherish givers are smart and strategic about their giving. While they’re just as much givers as selfless giverzm they’ve learned to successfully navigate a world of matches and takers, so others don’t take advantage of them

Maybe you asking yourself what steps can I take so I become a giver. After all, being a successful giver comes with many perks; stronger relationships, increased happiness, and better performance at work.

Here are some tricks and tools that successful givers have up their sleeves to help others while avoiding burnout.

5 – Minute Favors

What to do:

Do other people small donors that take no more than 5 minutes – like making an intro, giving feedback, offering advice,

Why it works:

5 – m8nute favors are those small yet impactful favors you do for others that only take a few minutes. Doing these quick favors for a co-worker or friend can go a long way in strengthening your relationships.

Ask For Help

What to do:

Ask a friend or co-worker for help on an issue you’re having, without taking up too much of their time.

Why it works:

While asking for help doesn’t sound like a quintessential giver move doing so comes with some surprising benefits. It gives then the opportunity to be a giver, but also makes them feel good and smart.

One of the best ways to build strong relationships is to seek advice, because it creates meaningful opportunities in your life, and you feel fulfilled by it.

Give All At Once

What to do:

Devote a particular day or part of a day each week to helping people out.

Why it works:

There are two ways to give: you can sprinkle random acts of kindness throughout your week, or chuck all of your giving acts into one day. Which is most effective? The chunking, research actually shows it leaves you with a bigger psychological boost of feeling appreciation and meaningless, which will motivate you to continue being a giver.

Specialize In Favors

What to do:

Pick one or two way of helping that you enjoy and excel at, rather than being a jack of all trades.

Why it works:

This way, you can help in a way that energizes you instead, of exhausting you. This will allow you to gain a reputation as a person with particular expertise you’re willing to share, rather that as a nice person who is freely available.

People won’t come to you for favors that don’t fit these skills.

Keep An Eye Out For Takers

What to do:

Spot takers early, based on reputation and past experience, and only help them if they like you.

Why it works:

Takers like to milk givers for favors, because of the giver’s reputation. To avoid this, take on the mentality of a matcher. In other words, if a taker asks for help, say “sure, I’ll help you if you agree to help me with something else in return.”

Give, Give, Give!

Practice these tips and tricks, and you’ll be a successful giver in to time. But the keys to being a successful giver is also being an authentic giver. The less you try to give to get, the more you’ll succeed.

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