Sunday, 14 April 2013

Givers, Takers, and Matchers

It was yet another dose of Maria Popova's lovely weekly pickings. This week what stood out, was her understanding of Adam Grant's Give And Take. My amalgamated understanding of the same is the crux of this blog post.

Part - I

Takers: They take more than they give. They believe that the world is purely competitive, and they strive to beat everyone else in the race. They look out for themselves and put them selves ahead of anyone else. A taker strategically helps people - when he/she knows what's the use in return.

Givers: They give more than they take. Or so they make it seem. Their approach at workplace is more towards giving up their personal space and time to come forward and help others. A giver is more bent on sharing their time, knowledge, skills, and resources, at the risk of losing their leverage.

Matchers: And there's always the guys who are in between. They strike a balance between both the scales. They believe in tit for tat and reciprocity of favours.


What's my first thought post this bit of insight? I cringed at knowing I was a giver - in relationships, in work, in sharing. I felt mortified that it would put me at a disadvantage. My mind ran a quick reel of my experiences and I saw myself giving more than I needed to. Though, I strike a bit of balance by not being so explicit about it.

Part - II

Givers across professions were found to be less successful. Of course?! What does one imagine when you give at the opportunity cost of your leverage?

Turns out though, that givers are worst AND top performers. The takers and matchers make the safe middle belt. Givers can be as ambitious as the other two. It's their way of reaching out to their social circles, that makes them more of a favourite (or not). When a taker wins, there's usually someone who loses. But when a giver wins, there are people rooting for them.

All three do win, of course. It's just that when the giver wins, there seems to be a ripple effect around them. They create value, differently.


Part - II was certainly a good consoling find. Giving does not mean losing. Taking does not mean cunning. The takeaway is that - one can use one's persona or natural tendency to one's success in anyway possible. It is all up to you to figure your game out.

I am excited to read this book and gain more insights! 

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