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Give and Take

Updated: Aug 11, 2020

Revolutionary Approach to Success

Live Life Happy Unconventional Bookclub Highlight

Andrea Seydel


Success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. Give and take illuminates what effective networking, collaboration, influence, negotiation and leadership skills have in common.

Adam Grant is an award winning researcher, professor and author. He holds a Ph.D in Organizational Psychology. During interactions how we operate impacts our success. Are you a giver? A taker? or a matcher? You will look at giving and taking in a whole new light.

1. The Dangers and Rewards of Giving More Than You Get

Conventional wisdom states that highly successful people have three things in common: Motivation, Ability and Opportunity BUT there is a fourth ingredient!!

Overtime we interact with a person we have a choice to make: do we try to claim as much value as we can, or contribute value without worrying about what we receive in return?

Giving, taking and matching are three fundamental styles of social interactions.

Can you guess who's at the bottom of the success ladder? Research demonstrates that it is the givers. Reciprocity styles are most beneficial as they encourage others to give. Five minute favour rule!

In his book, Adam Grant sets out to persuade the reader not to underestimate the success of givers. Givers are not doormats or chumps. Benefits of giving out weigh the costs.

2. Are you a Giver or a Taker? Or a Matcher.

Takers tend to value: Wealth, Power, Pleasure and Winning.

Givers tend to value: Helpfulness, Responsibility, Social Justice and Compassion.

Universally Giver values are guiding principles in the life of most people. Even if someone is a taker, they value giving principles.

3. What makes Giving so Powerful?

Networking- Givers have larger networks, Five minute favours, and what goes around comes around. All ties serve as bridges, provide info and create leads. Givers succeed in the long run!

Collaborating-The Ripple efect, people like collaborating with givers more, providing insight, inspiration and knowledge. Givers work better with others. Givers share and give credit. Takers tend to take responsibility for hard work or credit.

Evaluating-Givers tend to find the diamond in the rough. They are generous with process praise.Givers recognize potential and create a self fulfilling prophecy, which can make people do better.

Influencing- How to be modest and influence people. Two paths to influence: Dominance and prestige. Takers tend to be dominant and givers tend to be prestigious. When you earn prestige, we become influential from respect and admiration not authoritative power.

4. What makes Giving so Dangerous?

Burnout-Avoiding the pitfalls -failure to advance own interests, give away too much credit, exhaustion. Need to adopt a self-preservation mindset. Tap into the the feedback from going to energize. Avoid compassion fatigue. Give with a cause and decide appropriate hours.

Doormat-Exploited by takers.Givers often are too trusting, too empathetic, and too timid. Screen sincerity, be adaptable tit of tat, be assertive when unreasonable, and push pass pushover.

Costs-Because givers see potential all around them, givers end up investing a lot of time, money and energy. Use Reciprocity Ring- Each person/student/employee makes a request to others, the rest would try to use resources, knowledge and connections to fulfill the request.


Adam Grant makes your reconsider some of the fundamental assumptions of success.

All self sacrificing givers can act like a matcher and see success and meaning without compromising their own success.

Giving first is a a promising path to succeeding later.

If you are a taker, you might want to lean towards a giver direction and master the skills of people who achieve success by contributing to others.

Avoid bottom of success ladder and be a giver by exercising these actions: Test your giving ability, tract it. Run a Reciprocity Ring, Help others craft their jobs to improve giving, Give givers love, Embrace five minute favours, 30 day giver challenge, seek help more often.

To listen to the book highlight go to my Live Life Happy Podcast where ever you listen to your podcast. Links on my website too.

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