What is a “Giver?” Givers are people who seek out opportunities to help people they respect and appreciate without expecting anything in return. They bring out the best in others. Surrounding yourself with good and positive people will always help lift you up even when you are having a rough time and feel that you can’t do it yourself.
Unfortunately givers are a relatively rare breed. They tilt reciprocity in the other direction, preferring to give more than they get and they don’t keep score. They put the good of others above their own ego.
Takers, on the other hand, have a distinctive signature: they like to get more than they give. It’s all about them. They – nearly always – put their own interests ahead of others’ needs.
“If you’re a giver, then you build quality relationships, and with those relationships you’re exposed to opportunity over the long term,” Adam Grant told Business Insider last year. “You actually increase your own luck so far as you contribute things to other people.”
Networking success doesn’t depend on talent or hard work alone. It also depends on how we interact with people.
While I am in full support of providing value and helping people who are struggling, I fundamentally will not allow people in my network to be exposed to people who are negative and have the potential to bring them down. It’s insidious, and it spreads through the network like wildfire.
I prefer to surround myself with the type of people who give me energy and keep the ones that require energy from me at a safe distance. I love networkers who are energy givers, not takers. They exude energy and you benefit from just being around them. They have your back and cheer you on. They are your network of support, your advocates. These are the people I intend to have a long term, and in many cases lifelong relationship with. The more you surround yourself with these type of people, the more you’ll want to help others. Helping others is what business networking is really all about.
Networking is… using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals… expecting nothing in return! ~ Larry James
I call the energy takers, emotional vampires. Many are chronic complainers. They can suck the life out of you and a networking meeting like no one else. Deliberately shed those people from your life as quickly as possible. We don’t have time in our lives for those people who don’t believe in us (or themselves), who don’t want to support us, who don’t want to help us grow.
Who should you be adding to your network in the first place? Invite generous people from a wide variety of businesses. Prioritize personality over perceived “usefulness. Think of Santa Claus. He made it because he is a giver! 😉
Do what you can to connect with people who are interesting, and don’t waste time with those who don’t mesh with your personality.
Here is an excerpt from the book “Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success” ~ Over the past three decades, the esteemed psychologist Shalom Schwartz has studied the values and guiding principles that matter to people in different cultures around the world. One of his studies surveyed reasonably representative samples of thousands of adults in Australia, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Malaysia, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and the United States. He translated his survey into a dozen languages, and asked respondents to rate the importance
of different values. Here are a few examples:
• Wealth (money, material possessions)
• Power (dominance, control over others)
• Pleasure (enjoying life)
• Winning (doing better than others)
• Helpfulness (working for the well-being of others)
• Responsibility (being dependable)
• Social justice (caring for the disadvantaged)
• Compassion (responding to the needs of others)
Takers favor the values in List 1, whereas givers prioritize the values in List 2.
“Surround yourselves with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.” ~ Author Unknown
If your networking group does not consist mostly of people who are willing to give… I encourage you to find another group who does or start your own group. Starting over is never easy… and it may be worth it. People in your network should leave you more energized. Look for people like that. You will always find that givers ascend from the bottom to the top of the success ladder.
FACT: You’re only as good as who you surround yourself with!
Are you a taker or an awesome “giver?”
Copyright © 2015 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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