Givers in Action

by Network for Good Specialist ‎07-10-2013 3:00 AM, EDT

By Kate Olsen | @Kate4Good

 

This is a continuation of a post on Points of Light's Conference on Volunteering and Service, where I met Adam Grant, who explained the relationship between the brain, volunteering, and the body.

 

Think about your reciprocity style at work.  When you sum up your interactions with others, would you consider yourself to be a net taker, matcher or giver? 

 

Now think about which type is the most successful.

 

Do you think takers are getting ahead because they narrowly focus on personal accomplishment or that matchers know how to navigate the politics to achieve success?  If so, you are wrong. 

 

Smile via PinterestGivers are the most successful – and also the least successful.  Read Adam’s book for research examples of how this paradox plays out in engineering (productivity), medical school (grades) and sales (revenue results).

 

Givers excel in collaborative environments and Adam’s research shows how this is even more try in today’s hyper-connected social networked world.  However, if givers don’t set boundaries, they can be taken advantage of (especially by takers), and end up lagging peers.  Smart givers know how to balance favors and self-preservation. 

 

Let’s take a look at a smart giver in action. 

 

Think about the most networked person on LinkedIn.  Do you think that person is LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner?  A social media pro like Guy Kawasaki

 

You might be surprised to learn that the most networked person on LinkedIn is entrepreneur Adam Rifkin, named Fortune's best networker in 2011.  Adam is a master of 5 minute favors (making an introduction, critiquing a pitch) and encouraging beneficiaries of his help to pay the favor forward.  He’s on a mission to create a culture of giving in Silicon Valley.

 

Stay tuned for tips on how to create a culture of giving at your organization!

 

Image via Pinterest

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