Givers and Takers: A Formula That Works

By Marisa Arbona-Ruiz

There is an apparent magic to striking the balance between giving and taking.

Previously, we blogged about organizational psychologist, professor and best selling author Adam Grant and his groundbreaking book, Givers and Takers. In the book, Grant identified givers, takers and matchers as three main character types that strongly impact team performance both positively and negatively. He concluded that those who give unselfishly help drive success, and shared an ideal character combo for creating a thriving business and company culture.

But after four more years of research, he made a discovery.

Though givers are highly valuable, Grant noted that generosity burnouts can come at a steep price, with a ripple effect onto other people and responsibilities. Well, that’s a no-brainer. Just look at any exhausted single parent, understaffed manager or under-budgeted non-profit. Yet, it happens everywhere, so Grant went to work analyzing giving tendencies and their impact to offer more effective solutions.

His deeper observations have resulted in developing the profiles of six different types of giving, with helpful formulas for pacing that coveted generosity, through “seven habits of highly productive giving.” From just saying “no” to prioritizing and portioning out your giving, anyone can make the transition from more reactive helping to more proactive giving.

Here’s how to beat generosity burnout