Give and Take

Give and Take by Adam Grant offers a fascinating examination of how being a giver can result in being successful. In fact, giving can result in more success than those who take or those who seek to be matchers (i.e., reciprocal relationships where you give some and get some). Of course, givers can also end up as the least successful of these groups, and Grant spends a significant amount of time exploring what makes the difference between givers who are successful and those who are taken advantage of.

The book provides some scientific evidence for an earlier post about being focused on giving or getting. Among many applicable anecdotes, one of particular relevance to performance is the finding that teachers and coaches who are givers are much more likely to develop expertise in their students and athletes. This is because their caring, kind approach and patience help to make learning fun, which in turn allows their pupils to sustain the motivation necessary to achieve expertise.

Finally, evidence suggests that when givers are in a community, more members of that community tend to also give. Of course there are caveats, but in general givers are more likely to cause others to want to be generous rather than to take advantage of them. So, what can you give today?

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