Don’t be a doormat: How workplace ‘givers’ can avoid finishing last

Financial Post:

A common phrase heard throughout the holiday season is that it is better to give than to receive. Although some may lament the prevalence of commercialism (e.g. the pandemonium that takes place on Black Friday and Cyber Monday), the art of giving is a fundamental human value that research has shown is universally recognized and celebrated.

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.

It begs the question: When it comes to business, is generosity a winning or losing strategy? This was a conundrum that Wharton Professor Adam Grant explored in his book Give and Take.

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).

Read the whole story: Financial Post

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