How workplace 'givers' can avoid finishing last

Posted on January 6, 2014

A common phrase heard throughout the holiday season is that it is better to give than to receive. However, despite our affection for giving on special occasions, its reputation has less lustre in the world of business where those who maintain a demanour of helpfulness come across as naive and are often taken advantage of by the most ruthless and ambitious among us.

To explore whether givers or takers come out on top, Professor Grant reviewed research using three different group — engineers, sales professionals and medical students — to inform his answer. Specifically, he wanted to see whether givers (described as those who help others at personal cost, and without any expectation of return) outperform those who are matchers (quid pro quo or “you do a favour for me, I’ll do one of equal value for you”) or takers (individuals who try to maximize what they can obtain from a relationship or interaction).

Not surprisingly, across the three studies, givers were at the bottom of the performance pile regardless of whether you were an engineer, salesperson, or medical student.

However, when he looked at the top of the performance chart, he also noticed the top performers were not the takers (which may be expected) or the matchers (perhaps the next most obvious answer). No, the givers rose to the top.

Those at the top of their game were individuals who placed the welfare of others above their own.

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Category(s):Workplace Issues

Source material from Financial Post


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