Give and Take by Adam Grant

Learning with Lisa Tan

Sharing some points from the book, and will continue doing so. A highly recommended read.

According to conventional wisdom, highly successful people have three things in common: hard work, talent, and luck. But there is the fourth ingredient. A critical but often neglected ingredient – success depends heavily on how we approach interactions with other people.

Every time we interact with a person at work – we have a choice to make. Do we try to claim as much value as we can, or contribute value without worrying what we get in return?

People differ drastically in their preferences for reciprocity – their desired mix for giving and taking.

1. One end of the spectrum – 1) takers. Like to take more than they give. Believes in a dog eat dog world and puts their interests ahead of others. “If I don’t look after myself, no one will.” Not necessarily cruel or cutthroat, more cautious and self-protective.

2. Other end of the spectrum – 2) givers. They tilt reciprocity in the other direction, preferring to give more than they take. They are others-focused and pay more attention to what other people need from them, instead of evaluating what other people can offer them.

Take note, sometimes the actions by givers + takers may be exactly the same. Eg- helping someone. But the cost-benefit analysis used is very different. If you’re a taker, you help strategically when the benefit to you outweighs the personal cost. If you’re a giver, you help whenever the benefits to others outweigh the personal costs

The majority of us are in the third in-between category – 3) matches! We strive to preserve an equal balance of giving and getting. Matchers operate on the principle of fairness. You believe in tit for tat, and your relationships are governed by the even exchange of favours.

We may be different in different aspects of our life – for eg, a giver for family, and become a matcher when at work

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