CARP Talk Report 13.04.2016
People can be categorised into 3 groups based on how they interact with others: they are:
1. Takers; these people take more than what they give, they believe it’s a dog eat dog world and we need to look after our own tails first.
2. Givers; these guys give more than they take. They prioritise others’ needs before their own, and, as you can imagine, are a rare breed in the workplace.
3. Matchers; these guys live with the principle ‘an eye for an eye’ – they give and expect equal favour back.
Keishin Hoshiko, a fashion graduate currently building her own fashion business and working with Women’s Federation for World Peace, explores this concept of how our interactions of give and take with others impact our success, and is it really nice guys who finish last?
Raised in a religious family, Keishin was taught to live for the sake of others. She knew that those who could really inspire people were those who sacrificed for others. But often being a giver in society can leave you burnt out, used or feeling trodden on. So, how can you keep giving regardless? Should you?
In the book ‘Give and Take’ by Adam Grant, the author researches which personality trait (takers, givers or matchers) are at the bottom and the top of the success ladder looking at their grades, income, revenue, popularity, etc. Those on the bottom were, yes, the givers. This was because they give more than they take and raise up others while sometimes failing to take initiative for their own success. So, who was at the top? Actually, again it was the givers. That leaves takers and matchers drifting in the middle. Surprised? The research showed that while givers are busy helping others, they become interconnected and respected. That’s how they develop their network and reputation. Their success doesn’t come straight away, it can take time for people to acknowledge their worth, but when they do, givers often become the most influential people in society.
George Meyer, the mastermind behind the humour of ‘The Simpsons’, was called ‘the funniest man behind the funniest show on TV’ by ‘The New Yorker’. He won an Emmy award and was rated as a high level giver in his workplace. He worked for 16 seasons but was only credited for 12 episodes because he never wanted to take the credit for himself. Meyer just wanted to improve the show, giving his ideas freely without expectation of personal gain.
This is not to say that takers or matchers never get to the top. Of course, everyone has unique paths to personal success. But when takers win, often they have trodden on others to get there and people become resentful of their position. On the other hand, when a giver wins, everyone is rooting for them.
Keishin met a giver after university that wanted to help promote the work of graduates. In fact, she offered Keishin a spot in her magazine. Later on, that same girl was doing a project making uniforms for a school in Africa and Keishin offered to help her for free. Through this there was a vibrant energy in the interaction; a free-flow of giving and receiving. And after that both would feel confident to help or ask for help from each other in the future.
Giving and grit are interconnected – they both require strength and determination. Going against the current of social trends. In the end, the world won’t be changed by people who only live for themselves, but when people who live for something greater start giving.