Most people who have ever worked anywhere with more than a handful of employees has probably had the unfortunate experience of working with a greedy and/or manipulative asshole who frequently used and abused their colleagues to get ahead.
It is really more common than you would think, unfortunately.
My father said there were two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better.
Within the video, Grant goes into great detail expanding upon the complexities of the titles of “giver” and “taker”. I highly suggest watching it before reading on.
Put shortly, takers are your average office-place asshole—the self-serving manipulative type. On the other hand, givers are the complete opposite. They take pleasure in the opportunities life offers them to uplift people, intending to elevate others to their level.
There is a twist, but it probably isn’t the first thought that comes to mind. As you would expect, in a sales setting takers are often in the top tier of performers, ranking mid to high in areas like pay, average deals, and most other common identifiers of success.
Givers tend to rank near the bottom, but in most situations, they surprisingly also comprise a significant amount of the top performers as well.
I held off mentioning the wild card category, “matchers”. While givers and takers are polar opposites, matchers are individuals who normally play with the game set to an eye for an eye. Meaning, they give and take interchangeably based on the circumstances, favoring neither style. Matchers are a majority of the population and normally perform average in most areas of life.
The research shows that takers tend to rise quickly but inevitably fall just as fast. The bridges they burn on the way up fail to support their hollow attempts to seize success through force. In a balanced workplace, matchers are likely to mirror this negativity. Therefore, a team, workplace, or community needs to avoid welcoming takers. Likewise, it needs to be open to receiving the efforts of true givers.
Matchers do have their place, giving when the opportunity arises, but givers really run the show—cultivating the healthiest communities.
You should definitely check out the TED video for more examples of what it means to be a true giver, and how you can regulate the inclusion of “takers” in your team or community.
If you have ever dealt with a real problem with a taker, I’d like to hear about it down in the comments.
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