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Leslie gauthier reviewer camille mart nez. I want you to look around the room for for a minute and try to find the most paranoid person here laughter. And then want you to point at that person for me laughter.
Ok dont actually do it laughter. But as an organizational psychologist. I spend a lot of time in workplaces and i find paranoia everywhere paranoia is caused by people that i call takers takers are self serving in their interactions.
Its all about what can you do for me. The opposite is a giver. Its somebody who approaches most interactions by asking what can i do for you i wanted to give you a chance to think about your own style.
We all have moments of giving and taking your style is how you treat most of the people most of the time your default i have a short test you can take to figure out if youre more of a giver or a taker and you can take it right now. The narcissist test step. 1.
Take a moment to think about yourself laughter step. 2. If you made it to step.
2. You are not a narcissist laughter. This is the only thing i will say today that has no data behind it.
But i am convinced the longer it takes for you to laugh at this cartoon. The more worried. We should be that youre a taker laughter of course.
Not all takers are narcissists. Some are just givers who got burned one too many times. Then theres another kind of taker that we wont be addressing today.
And thats called a psychopath laughter. I was curious though about how common these extremes are and so i surveyed over 30000. People across industries around the worlds cultures.
And i found that most people are right in the middle between giving and taking they choose this third style called matching. If youre a matcher you try to keep an even balance of give and take quid pro quo. Ill do something for you if you do something for me.
And that seems like a safe way to live your life. But is it the most effective and productive way to live your life the. Answer to that question is a very definitive maybe laughter.
I studied dozens of organizations thousands of people i had engineers measuring their productivity laughter. I looked at medical students grades even salespeoples revenue laughter and unexpectedly the worst performers in each of these jobs were the givers. The engineers who got the least work done were the ones who did more favors than they got back they were so busy doing other peoples jobs.
They literally ran out of time and energy to get their own work completed in medical school. The lowest grades belong to the students who agree most strongly with statements like i love helping others. Which suggests the doctor you ought to trust is the one who came to med school with no desire to help anybody laughter and then in sales.
Too the lowest revenue accrued in the most generous salespeople. I actually reached out to one of those salespeople who had a very high giver score. And i asked him why do you suck at your job.
I didnt ask it that way. But laughter. Whats the cost of generosity in sales.
And he said well i just care so deeply about my customers that i would never sell them one of our crappy products laughter. So just out of curiosity. How many of you self identify more as givers than takers or matchers raise your hands ok.
It would have been more before we talked about these data. But actually it turns out theres a twist here because givers are often sacrificing themselves. But they make their organizations better.
We have a huge body of evidence. Many many studies looking at the frequency of giving behavior. That exists in a team or an organization and the more often people are helping and sharing their knowledge and providing mentoring.
The better organizations do on every metric. We can measure higher profits customer satisfaction employee retention even lower operating expenses so givers spend a lot of time trying to help other people and improve. The team and then unfortunately they suffer along the way i want to talk about what it takes to build cultures.
Where givers actually get to succeed so i wondered then if givers are the worst performers who are the best performers let me start with the good news. Its not the takers takers tend to rise quickly. But also fall quickly in most jobs and they fall at the hands of matchers.
If youre a matcher you believe in an eye for an eye a just world and so when you meet a taker you feel like its your mission in life to just punish. The hell out of that person laughter. And that way justice gets served well most people are matchers and that means if youre a taker it tends to catch up with you eventually what goes around will come around and so the logical.
Conclusion is it must be the matchers who are the best performers. But theyre not in every job in every organization. Ive ever studied the best results belong to the givers again take a look at some data.
I gathered from hundreds of salespeople tracking their revenue. What you can see is that the givers go to both extremes. They make up the majority of people who bring in the lowest revenue.
But also the highest revenue. The same patterns were true for engineers productivity and medical students grades givers are overrepresented at the bottom. And at the top of every success metric that i can track.
Which raises the question how do we create a world where more of these givers get to excel. I want to talk about how to do that not just in businesses. But also in nonprofits schools.
Even governments are you ready cheers. I was going to do it anyway. But i appreciate the enthusiasm laughter.
The first thing thats really critical is to recognize that givers are your most valuable people. But if theyre not careful they burn out so you have to protect the givers in your midst. And i learned a great lesson about this from fortunes best networker.
Its the guy not the cat laughter. His name is adam rifkin. Hes a very successful serial entrepreneur who spends a huge amount of his time.
Helping other people and his secret weapon is the five minute. Favor. Adam said.
You dont have to be mother. Teresa or gandhi to be a giver you just have to find small ways to add large value to other peoples lives that could be as simple as making an introduction between two people who could benefit from knowing each. Other it could be sharing your knowledge or giving a little bit of feedback or it might be even something as basic as saying you know im going to try and figure out if i can recognize somebody.
Whose work has gone unnoticed and those five minute favors are really critical to helping givers set boundaries and protect themselves the second thing. That matters. If you want to build a culture.
Where givers succeed is you actually need a culture. Where help seeking is the norm. Where people ask a lot this may hit a little too close to home for some of you so in all your relationships.
You always have to be the giver laughter. What you see with successful givers is they recognize that its ok to be a receiver. Too if you run an organization.
We can actually make this easier we can make it easier for people to ask for help a couple colleagues and i studied hospitals. We found that on certain floors nurses did a lot of help seeking and on other floors. They did very little of it the factor that stood out on the floors.
Where help seeking was common where it was the norm was there was just one nurse whose sole job. It was to help other nurses on the unit when that role was available. Nurses said its not embarrassing.
Its not vulnerable to ask for help. Its actually encouraged help seeking isnt important just for protecting the success and the well being of givers. Its also critical to getting more people to act like givers.
Because the data say that somewhere between 75 and 90 percent of all giving in organizations starts with a request. But a lot of people dont ask they dont want to look incompetent. They dont know where to turn they dont want to burden others.
Yet if nobody ever asks for help you have a lot of frustrated givers in your organization. Who would love to step up and contribute if they only knew who could benefit and how but i think the most important thing. If you want to build a culture of successful givers is to be thoughtful about who you let onto your team.
I figured you want a culture of productive generosity. You should hire a bunch of givers but i was surprised to discover actually that that was not right that the negative impact of a taker on a culture is usually double to triple the positive impact of a giver think about it this way one bad apple can spoil a barrel. But one good egg just does not make a dozen.
I dont know what that means laughter. But i hope you do no let even one taker into a team and you will see that the givers will stop helping theyll say im surrounded by a bunch of snakes and sharks. Why should i contribute whereas.
If you let one giver into a team you dont get an explosion of generosity. More often people are like great that person can do all our work so effective hiring and screening and team building is not about bringing in the givers. Its about weeding out the takers.
If you can do that well youll be left with givers and matchers the givers will be generous because they dont have to worry about the consequences. And the beauty of the matchers is that they follow the norm. So how do you catch a taker before its too late.
Were actually pretty bad at figuring out whos a taker especially on first impressions. Theres a personality trait that throws us off its called agreeableness one the major dimensions of personality across cultures agreeable people are warm and friendly. Theyre nice.
Theyre polite. You find a lot of them in canada laughter. Where there was actually a national contest to come up with a new canadian slogan and fill in the blank as.
Canadian as i thought the winning entry was going to be as canadian as maple syrup or ice hockey. But no canadians voted for their new national slogan to be i kid you not as canadian as possible under the circumstances laughter now for those of you who are highly agreeable or maybe slightly canadian you get this right away how could i ever say im any one thing when im constantly adapting to try to please other people disagreeable. People do less of it theyre more critical.
Skeptical. Challenging and far more likely than their peers to go to law school laughter. Thats not a joke thats actually an empirical fact laughter so i always assumed that agreeable people were givers and disagreeable people were takers.
But then i gathered the data and i was stunned to find no correlation between those traits because it turns out that agreeableness disagreeableness is your outer veneer. How pleasant is it to interact with you whereas giving and taking are more of your inner motives. What are your values what are your intentions toward others.
If you really want to judge people accurately you have to get to the moment. Every consultant in the room is waiting for and draw a two by two laughter. The agreeable givers are easy to spot.
They say yes to everything. The disagreeable takers are also recognized quickly. Although you might call them by a slightly different name laughter.
We forget about the other two combinations. There are disagreeable givers in our organizations. There are people who are gruff and tough on the surface.
But underneath have others best interests at heart or as an engineer put it oh disagreeable givers like somebody with a bad user interface. But a great operating system laughter. If that helps you laughter.
Disagreeable givers. Are the most undervalued people in our organizations. Because theyre the ones who give the critical feedback that no one wants to hear.
But everyone needs to hear we need to do a much better job. Valuing these people as opposed to writing them off early. And saying.
Eh. Kind of prickly must be a selfish taker. The other combination.
We forget about is the deadly one the agreeable taker also known as the faker. This is the person whos nice to your face and then will stab you right in the back laughter. And my favorite way to catch.
These people in the interview process is to ask the question can you give me the names of four people whose careers. You have fundamentally improved. The takers will give you four names and they will all be more influential than them because takers are great at kissing up and then kicking down givers are more likely to name people who are below them in a hierarchy.
Who dont have as much power who can do them no good and lets face it you all know you can learn a lot about character by watching how someone treats their restaurant server or their uber driver. So if we do all this well if we can weed takers out of organizations. If we can make it safe to ask for help if we can protect givers from burnout and make it ok for them to be ambitious in pursuing their own goals.
As well as trying to help other people. We can actually change the way that people define success instead of saying. Its all about winning a competition people will realize success is really more about contribution.
I believe that the most meaningful way to succeed is to help other people succeed. And if we can spread that belief we can actually turn paranoia upside down. Theres a name for that its called pronoia.
Pronoia is the delusional belief that other people are plotting your well being laughter that theyre going around behind your back. And saying exceptionally glowing things about you the great thing about a culture of givers is thats not a delusion. Its reality.
I want to live in a world where givers succeed. And i hope you will help me create that world thank you applause. .
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