Are you a giver?

Givers have a stake in the common good. They will rise to the top because of this, reaching strong and prominent positions. The highest positions in society are mostly achieved by givers because they concentrate on the common good.

Did you ever feel uncomfortable asking someone you haven’t seen in years for a favor? Individuals who offer tend not to feel that way. While they may lose contact over time with certain contacts, a sense of faith and a desire to help is retained. This makes it easy for donors, even after long stretches of being out of touch, to ask for favors for themselves or someone they know.

Adam Rifkin, a perpetual giver and Fortune Magazine’s 2011 best networker, co-founded the 106 Miles network, a twice-monthly gathering where entrepreneurs come together to connect and pool their knowledge. Through this event, Rifkin helps people get jobs, gives them feedback on their business ideas and connects them to others in his vast network.

But he also benefited from Rifkin ‘s keen interest in supporting others by developing networks. He was quickly able to get advice for a new business he wanted to start from Excite co-founder Graham Spencer, someone he had not seen in 5 years, because he is so highly known for his generosity. This is a common advantage for donors: re-connecting is simple when they need assistance from even a seemingly dormant network, since the other party knows that the giver is not seeking reciprocation or selfish benefits.

Givers believe resource and knowledge pooling is beneficial to everyone. Their networks are vibrant due to their glowing reputations and their willingness to pay forward the help they receive. Successful givers cultivate and use their vast networks to benefit others as well as themselves.

When given an opportunity to mentor others, several individuals first look for seeds of talent to see if their time is worth investing. In this respect, however, givers differ: instead of waiting for proof of skill, givers expect talent in everyone and cultivate it from the beginning. Their protégées are always highly competitive because of this early-stage encouragement, and this performance is typically reflected back on the donors.

A individual who has found success by trusting in others who initially did not seem to be promising is C. J. Skender, an award-winning professor of accounting. The success of Skender lies in nurturing and mentoring its students. Skender wrote letters to each of his students who sat the Certified Public Accountant exam at one time , having now taught almost 600 courses, congratulating those who passed and those who did not.

The result of this effort? Over 40 of Skender’s students have won medals for their CPA performance. One former student, Reggie Love, even rose to become Barack Obama’s personal assistant.

By recognizing the greatness in everyone, givers provide fertile ground for the success of others, which also creates success for the giver. Givers see potential in everyone they meet, making them formidable at finding and nurturing talent.

We would probably say it takes confident, assertive language if anyone asked us what kind of communication produces the most success. But recent studies indicate that we can flourish by engaging in a powerless way, as opposed to raising voices and showing conviction.

Powerless communication involves focusing on the other person; for example, by seeking advice and asking questions. Rather than being domineering, which evokes resistance, this softer approach has a remarkably persuasive effect. This technique comes easily to givers, as they are naturally interested in others.

Powerless communication can be extremely advantageous. Rather than forcing demands on others, this classic giver approach persuades others to be more receptive to us. Powerless communication puts givers at a powerful advantage.

Many givers flourish thanks to their generosity. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and some end up exhausting themselves trying to please everyone. To avoid such burnout, givers must learn how to stay energized and deal with takers that exploit their generosity.

Surprisingly, recent investigations show that the remedy for burnout lies not in reducing the hours spent helping others but in being able to witness the impact they have.

“In addition to burnout, takers who misuse their kindness can feel” walked over, “hence the word” doormat. To prevent this, donors need to find a technique that allows them to indulge their urge to donate but also protects them from aggression. Such an interaction technique is identified by mathematical biology as generous tit for tat. That is, “never forget a good turn, but often forgive a bad one.” In fact, this means providing the actions of match takers much of the time, but indulging their own compassionate nature by giving the occasional kind gesture to the takers. This gives a sense of control to givers while fostering good actions in others in response to their kindness.

These two factors – witnessing the impact of their efforts and reigning in their over-zealous instinct to give in the face of persistent takers – help givers achieve long-term success.

Givers are only successful if they can avoid burnout or being abused by takers. Giving more than you get can result in great individual and group success.

We’ve historically been taught to believe that we need to contend with others and take what we need in order to succeed. Recent research and historical evidence, however, reveals that it is not always the takers who eventually win. Those who give will achieve great heights and, in comparison to those who take, along with them, they build prosperity for others.

Check out my related post: Why is it hard to take advice?

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