Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam M. Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Give and Take is a very thorough exploration of evidence that being open and willing to give more than receive leads to a happier and more fulfilling career and lifestyle. Grant shares many different stories, pieces of evidence and insight into how Givers behave in contrast to Matchers and Takers.
Perhaps the most important section for me was the chapter about Givers learning not to be doormats. Often I have struggled to be more firm and selective with my time and energy but end up giving away everything to anyone that seems in need. I understand my burn out in Teach For America in a whole new light! I was trying to give everything to my job and my family with little feedback or immediate method for seeing my giving make a difference.
As I reflect on this book I think there is much to be learned and acted upon, though I fear like with most things I read I quickly forget what was in them. Some cool ideas I hope to remember include:
- When negotiating, Givers can be stronger by taking a mindset of advocate. If what you are negotiating concerns more than just you, think about the needs that must be filled by those that will be impacted (story of man negotiating for a higher salary in order to sustain his family). Don't cop out just because you want to please someone if it isn't what is best for those you are already serving.
- If you are a Giver and are burning out from too much giving, see if you can find a way to give in a setting that provides feedback more quickly. It is hard to feel like you are making a difference if you never see the result.
- Reciprocity Rings: spending 15-20 minutes with a group of people in which individuals can make a public request and the group tries to come up with some advice, help, or guidance related to that question.
- The best givers are always open to give, but are careful around takers and create simple ways to weed them out.
I recommend this book, though it was longer than it needed to be. I am sure if you read a couple of Gran'ts articles online and visited his website you could get the gist of what he is saying. However he writes very well and the stories throughout the book bring the idea of giving alive.
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I am a graduate student in Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University. I enjoy writing, hiking, and spending time with my family.