Givers vs Takers

Givers vs Takers; We all know people in our various networks that fall into each category. As you build your network of trusted suppliers and proven veteran distributors take notice of those who are generous with sharing their experience and advice. Try to distance yourself from those who are always asking for something but rarely return the favor.

In Adam Grant’s New York Times Best Seller Give and Take he talks about how giving more in a professional setting can actually help in getting more back. Adam talks about what makes a person a giver and how to identify and best work with the takers. Below are few ideas to help you identify traits in yourself and those around you to help you be more of a giver in your professional life.


1. Takers: always looking for their best interest.

Takers approach relationships and projects with a ‘whats in it for me’ mentality. Successful givers are not selfless. Instead, they maintain a high level of self-interest and ambition while also concerning themselves with others’ needs.


2. Takers are drainers.

Takers only come to you when they need something but never give you help when you or other people need it. There is a drained emotional bank account and they don’t care. It’s not simply a matter of keeping track of who’s done who the latest favor. Grant actually describes a third category called “Matchers” who do reciprocate but always keep the balance even. You know these people, the ones who are quick to remind you that you owe them a favor.


3. Easy to spot.

Look around your social network and workplace and try to spot the takers. It’s usually not to hard to identify the takers. They are those who pull others down so that they can climb to the top. They take credit for the work done in a team rather than share the praise.

Takers are a black hole because they can suck the energy from any group or system. They have no resemblance to givers, who have a positive outlook, and inject light into any organization they find themselves in.


4. Givers like to see other people succeed and do well in teams.

Grant noted that givers do poorly in medical school when every task was an individual activity. They normally soar in the second year when they become part of teams and began dealing with hospitals, nurses, and patients. A strong team with more givers will have access to a free flow of information, knowledge, expertise and connection.

Takers are always strategic when utilizing groups and teams. They take without thought of giving back, depleting the teams resources and energy. When a group has more givers, then the group members contribute more and the team’s objectives are met more quickly.


5. Givers draw a line so they aren’t taken advantage of but look to make other people look good in addition to themselves.

givers vs takers cartoonThey don’t mind giving credit where credit is due—the people who really matter will always know the truth.

Rather than blindly giving time and energy to anyone, a successful giver will adjust their reciprocity style to avoid becoming a doormat. When confronted with a taker, they become matchers, maintaining their integrity. In a group, however, givers give more, and do so publicly, helping to establish a norm of giving within their community.


6. Givers don’t think of things as being a transaction.

Transactions are one-time occurrences, givers seek ways to build partnerships. Networks are not built on a transactional basis, but rather built on goodwill and paying it forward.

Givers can see projects from different perspectives, making them agreeable and understanding in group situations. Furthermore, by contributing help wherever they can (instead of only when it would benefit them and their specific responsibilities), they can establish a norm of giving and free-flowing ideas within their team.

Whether you are just starting out in the promotional products industry or are a well experienced veteran of the industry; pay attention to those you recruit to your team. Surrounding yourself with and being a giver yourself will help you build lasting relationships. Such relationships will help you attract more clients, motivated employees, and ultimately help you be more successful.

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