Are you a giver? Are you a taker? Not sure which and how these roles affect you and others in your life? Then today’s episode is for you.
In this episode of Positivity on Fire, host Jason Ramsden examines the work of UPenn professor, author, and TED speaker Adam Grant from his book Give and Take and how these roles play an important part in our success at work and at home. He also shares some tips on how we might identify these traits in ourselves and how we can make changes to improve our lives.
Are you a giver or taker? Adam Grant (ted.com)
Givers vs. Takers: The Surprising Truth about Who Gets Ahead (wharton.upenn.edu)
AdamGrant.net (click the link for quizzes)
EP11: Give and Take by Adam Grant
EP04: The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins
EP02: Find Your Why by Simon Sinek (audio version)
EP02: Start with Why by
Hi, I'm Jason Ramsden and I believe we can all work on leading a more positive and intentional life. And this show details my journey by sharing my learning stories and conversations with guests. If you want to lead a more intentional life focused on being the best you possible, please subscribe today. Now, let's get into today's episode. hello friends, today we're talking a little bit about givers and takers. And if you're not familiar with the topic, that's fine, hopefully, you'll learn a lot. Something new here. And if you are familiar with the work of of Adam Grant and his book, give and take, stick around, hopefully you'll see something new and and learn a little bit about yourself and a little bit about me. So first of all, who is Adam Grant, if you don't know of him, he is a professor in the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and he's an organizational psychologist. And what I love about his work was partly a, as a as a child, when I was in college, I had wanted to be an organizational psychologist, but didn't see my path going down the route of graduate school and an advanced degree as a doctor. And so I decided to pause and pass on that dream. They fast forward about 35 years or so. And here I am embarking on a career in in leadership and executive coaching. And I get to do the same sort of cool things with people that I imagined an organizational psychologist would do, which is trying to get the best out of people are learning what makes people successful, what makes people thrive in the workplace, and then their personal lives. So I feel this connectedness to Adam Grant in his work. And today we're talking a little bit about his book, give and take. And when it comes down to is that ultimately, givers and takers, it's why helping others, the giving side drives our success. And we'll get into that a little bit. And we'll talk about a little bit of the differences here today. But I think it's an important topic, especially as we start to emerge from our homes, post pandemic, and start to gather again, I think it's a it's an important topic for us to consider. Now if this topic of giving and taking is of interest to you, I really recommend going to Adam grants website, Adam grant.net. And I'll put it in the in the show notes. So you have access to it as well. Why are there they have he has a section on his website called quizzes, and you just scroll down to the bottom and take the Are you a giver taker or matcher. And again, we'll get into these phrases here in a little bit. quiz, I think it'll be an important step to determine where you sit. And the reason is, if you hear the phrase, giver, or taker, I would imagine you probably think that you're a giver. Most people think they're givers, right? Those who wants to be who wants to be known as a taker. So what exactly are these three types of people? So I think you can probably imagine a taker, I take her as somebody who when they walk into an interaction with somebody else is thinking, and it could very well be on a subconscious level, but their mode is, I'm going to get the most out of this interaction with this other person. For myself, I'm not going to give anything in return to the other person. I just believe that whatever this interaction is, is the shortest path between right now, and my goals. And for a giver. a giver is and this doesn't have anything to do with charity, by the way, but it gave her puts other people first, they prefer to be the one who's contributing to the interaction, whatever that may be. The third group of people are called matchers. And a matcher is basically somebody who is gonna say it is a one for one trade, I do for you, you do for me. And they kind of keep tally and track and of the interactions that they have with people. And they always ensure that that's in alignment and equilibrium, that there's some equity there between what they do for somebody else and what somebody does for them over the course of the relationship. probably wondering, Why Why are we even bothering to talk about this book and this this, this topic today? And the truth is that this podcast is all about positivity, and mindset and being the best that we possibly can be. And recently, this book was brought to my attention in the work of Adam Grant and this particular situation came across my desk. I started to think is there a relationship between givers and takers, and positivity, and we're happiness. Now at first blush you would imagine takers are probably the most happiest people, because they are often seen as the most successful people. Because takers have this operation about them this way about them, that is going to use people use interactions, to expand their network, and try and be accessible and goal oriented as they possibly can be for the betterment of themselves, and no one else. And what Grant's research shows is that while most people believe that takers are the most successful group of people, the truth is, it's actually givers. givers tend to be more successful at the very top end, than takers are. It's also true that givers are at the bottom of the range as well. So they have a wider spectrum of being the most successful all the way down to the least successful where the takers have a little bit of a tighter range, as do the matchers. But if you think about it, if you think about that range of the givers were the top. And most successful people are givers. When I, when I kind of read that and was going through the exercises of this book, and some of the conversations that we've had, around this particular topic, where I work, is that givers tend to be the most successful, because they care the most about the people that they're interacting with. So think about that, in the terms of somebody who is a salesperson, or somebody who is a doctor, you tend to find those people who put other people first in their profession, and want the best for those people above themselves, will elevate them in the success of their careers. So how does this really fit into your life? And how and how you how you go about the work that you do? Or the life that you lead? I'd say would step one would be to go to the website, Adam, grant that net and take that quiz and determine Are you a giver? Or a taker? Or are you a matcher? And then the next step would be to really think about where do you fall on the scale? And what I mean by the scale? Like, are you a happy taker? Are you a happy giver? Are you an unhappy taker, or an unhappy giver? And then what are those phrases even mean to you are happy taker, someone who will accept help all of the time, it's almost like it's, it's a god given right. And I would say at best, they probably think of themselves as just a little bit of a taker, and they don't really see themselves as somebody who takes all of the time, I would imagine to that a happy taker believes that being connected to them, is, is probably a good thing for the people who are givers. And that is almost fortunate that people gather around them or are connected to them. And they probably believe that the givers are fortunate to work with them, because they're givers, they have a place in the world, they kind of see things that way. And if you think about these people in the workplace, you know, they may have kind of a demeanor to them, that draws you to them because they're happy and maybe even be seen as successful. But a happy taker is someone who is almost doing a disservice to those around them. They're the people who will say, well, always my plate is so full, and they'll take, they'll take the extra help whenever they can, without doing any reciprocity in return for the person who is helping them. And unfortunately, they say, Well, if somebody's willing to help, I'm going to take that from them. Now, their counterpart is the happy giver. Happy giver does not have a care in the world of whether or not somebody is more successful than than them that they have more than they do. They just like to help people. They want to be involved in other people's lives. They want to be able to help they want to connect them to other people. They want to lend a hand and what I think happy givers are are people who also work in a way that they can manage their own priorities and tasks in life and also offer help and they find a good a good balance. It's not all about either taking something from somebody else or just being a full time giver. They would prefer to give, but they also know how to take care of their own business as well. Then you slide over into a quadrant of unhappy takers. They realize that they're takers. They realize that they asked for help more than they give help. They usually justify their taking From from givers, as because it's temporary and I'm in a, I'm in a particular spot right now, I need the help. Later on, I'll get over the hump and I'll be able to help somebody else. But that's not true every, it's always that the moment that they're in there seeing it as temporary need for help temporary need for help. But the truth is that it's always something that they do, and it eats at them. Whereas the happy taker doesn't see the guilt of the taking from others, without any reciprocity. So the unhappy taker is aware of what they're doing, they just don't know how to go around flipping the script, in their particular situation. And then you have, I think, what is probably the most dangerous category, which are the unhappy givers. And I'll call them the most dangerous category, because they're the ones who are most likely to burn out of being a giver. And these people understand that they're givers, they understand that they will do anything to see other people succeed, succeed, they almost pressure themselves into helping others. And to a certain degree, they kind of feel secure, or have this sense of, of well being. And I think it's a false sense of well being that others need them. They have a fear of missing out, if people aren't coming to them for assistance or help. They feel like they're not worthy. And that I think, drives them to be even more of a giver and going out of their way and trying to help people. But those are the type of people who will burn out of the giving. And to that, I think that the unhappy giver or people who have a lot of built up resentment, they expect to a certain degree, that if I give to you, you'll give to me. So in their mind, maybe they think of themselves as a matcher. But they never actually seek the match to their giving. Alright, so we have happy takers, happy givers, unhappy takers, and unhappy givers. So where does the positivity of all of this lie? How does that work its way into this conversation. And we'll get into that in just a second. And we'll be right back. So hold tight. Welcome back. We're talking about givers and takers today, and how that applies to happiness and positivity. So having about turning things around, if you went and took the test, and you've determined that you're a taker, and I even wonder if takers will actually go and take the test? Probably not, they probably just see themselves as not needing to do so. But if you ended up being a taker, and you feel like you're an extreme taker, based upon the results of that test, how can you go about kind of correcting your behavior? In order to kind of move yourself down maybe towards matters a little bit? I think one is think about who is your top giver? Who do you take from the most? How often do you ask those individuals for help? How often do you go to them? How often do you need their assistance, whether that's at work, or whether it's in your personal life? If you're a taker, you have somebody who is your number one giver to you? And think about how do you express gratitude to them, when was the last time you you thank them for the assistance that they gave you? When was the last time that you spend some time with them? Or even just call them up to say, thank you, I appreciate all that you've done for me. You could possibly even do something for them in return takers. I know that's hard for most people who are takers, they don't see that reciprocity in a relationship. But it'll go a long way towards I think, healing, what may be going on in a givers mind about somebody who's taking for them all the time. You may even want to say to yourself, hey, this particular tasks this particular time, this is my responsibility. This is something that I need to do for myself, I don't need assistance to get it done. I'm gonna take this task on by myself. And if you can, if you find that you're that you're an extreme taker, just once a day, once a week even try and do something for somebody else. Try and see the other side of the coin, if you will. Have you took the test and you find yourself to be an extreme giver. What are some things that you can do to kind of get yourself to maybe come back from that stance a little bit? And it's it's not unlike the extreme taker, identify who is your most consistent taker and try to understand a little bit why is it that you're willing to help that person without question all the time when they ask The more often that you can kind of keep their mind and their requests at the forefront and be cognizant of how much they ask you for assistance, I think will go a long way towards maybe possibly breaking that pattern of behavior a little bit, at least on your side. If you are an extreme giver, you, you can learn to say no, you just need to find the capacity to say that. And you may even want to chunk it down. If it's something that you can do in 10 or 15 minutes, that it's not an incredible time suck for you to be able to give to somebody and who is your number one taker, if you can chunk it, and say, okay, it's gonna take maybe 10 minutes of time, that's all I'll give to that particular task, then you can, you can start to work towards having some reciprocation with that person. And one of the one of the warning signs you need to look out for though is, if you are an extreme giver, you see yourself as an extreme giver, is make sure that you're not feeling pressured, or compelled to help help the other person, whoever you're, whoever your number one taker is of your time and your energy, make sure you don't feel pressure to do that. And if it's the repeat kind of work, for instance, if you're if you're a parent, and your kids are always asking it in your kids, and I say kids, your older children, if their teens, somewhere between 14, and then we'll say 2021, if they are if they're always asking you to make them food, or do their laundry, or feeling compelled to clean their rooms, flip the switch, teach them how to do it, there's a reason that you say if you you give a person a fish, you can feed them for a day. But if you teach them how to fish, you can feed them for a lifetime. I really believe that if you are a giver, the more that you can teach, you're the person who is the taker, you're number one taker, how to do the things for themselves, or even provide them some guidance. I think the better the relationship will be. So why is any of this important to me and certainly, to you. So as as a coach, one of one of my main priorities is to ensure that people find success in their lives, or whether that's in their professional life or their personal life. And one of the things you can focus on is your strengths. And I think having a well rounded understanding of who you are as a person, from your strengths, and your weaknesses, we like to focus on strengths. But I think having an understanding of whether you are a giver, or a taker, or a matcher, in conjunction with your strengths in the workplace or in your home life provides you with, with a good look inside of yourself to determine, you know, what are the next steps that I can take to improve my surroundings to improve how I work with others, to improve my standing at work, or improve my relationship at home. And I'd love to be able to do that for you. If that's something of interest. You know, I'd love to connect with people on social media, you can always find firstname.lastname@example.org slash Jason Ramsden, the link to all of my social media for the for the for the show here is on that link. So find me come to come have a conversation. Let's chat about this particular topic, let's let's chat about any topic that you feel that will help improve yourself and will that will help improve your positivity that will help improve your life and what you give back to others. And what my my goal is, in sharing this type of information with you through this through this medium through this podcast is to just bring awareness to what exists in the world. And how people are seeing how interactions with others affect each other. And and ultimately, how you can go about thinking through your life kind of turning, turning the mirror inwards, to consider what can I do to become a better person? What can I do to become a better partner? What can I do to become more successful in the workplace. And a lot of that takes understanding it takes research, it takes time. And it takes a willingness to fix what may be broken about how you operate in your life. And I don't say that lightly. I believe everybody is broken. And by broken I mean has something that they can improve in their lives. And if you take the time to really look inward and consider how you can make yourself a better person, not not only just for you and then that I think that's an important point to make, but to make yourself better for other people. And I really hope as We come out of quarantine come out of pandemic, that as individuals, we are really focused on making the lives of other people better. I think I think we'll find ourselves in a much better space as an individual a much better space as a country. And I think, a much better space as just human beings in general. And I would encourage you go, go to Google hop on Google, put in givers, and takers, that's all you have to do to put into the search box, and start to read start to spend a little bit of time digesting the work of Adam Grant digesting the interviews he's had digesting the blogs and other takes, kind of like I've done here in this podcast, of what people view as the positives and negatives of givers and takers, because all I think of all the topics I've talked about so far on the show, this one hits home for me more than others. You know, we've talked about stress and challenges and goal setting, and the art of conversation. But for me, this topic of givers and takers is one that I'll continue to dive into, that I'll continue to focus on. Because it is incredibly fascinating to me, to try and understand where this fits in my life, where it fits in my kid's life, my wife's life. And where we sit as a family, the dynamics is I start to kind of think through kind of how we operate as a family is fascinating to me. And I would, I would encourage you to do the same thing. Take the time to do the research. And by research, you know, I'm just basically saying again, or go ahead and Google givers and takers and just flip through a couple of the articles and they're not, you know, overwhelming. It's good information. And I think the more people who hear this show, the more people who understand whether a giver or a taker, and what that means in their life. I think the better off we'll be. And as we get ready to close out today's show, I just want to say thank you, I think thank you for being here. You know, if you're a regular listener to this show that I believe your gift of time listening to this show does mean the world to me, it's so important. There's nothing more important than the time that you can give. And I just want you to always remember be well be happy, be you. And until next time, may your quest for positivity begin today. If you liked today's episode, please go to pod chaser.com search for positivity on fire and leave a five star rating and review. For more on my positivity quest. Follow me at positively underscore Jay on Instagram for tik tok, or engage with the show by visiting direct.me slash Jason Ramsden. Have an amazing day.