Givers uncover hidden “diamonds in the rough”

business glory Givers uncover hidden

Have you ever experienced that some people are more supportive than others, that some give “free” without expecting anything in return? That they are more willing to collaborate and sustain other people’s work? That they have no problem promoting others?

Fact is: Our society is full of different personalities. Not everyone has the same character, the same attitude and the same moral and human thinking. Not everyone feels obliged to show the own humanness and convince with the own trust.

Psychologist  and author of the book “Give and Take” Adam Grant divides our working world into three important groups of people:

Givers, Takers, and Matchers.
Givers are these people that are rather supportive than others. They ask themselves: “What can I contribute here? How can I add value?”

Matchers play “tit for tat”, they aim on reciprocating and expect a form of reciprocity. Takers are not very willing to give support, they focus on getting as much as possible from others.

But there are situations, where even givers can act like takers, or the other way round. We all have a mix of giver, taker and matcher moments.

Everyone of us has a bit of these personalities in us. There is almost nobody who would give his last “shirt” and would sacrifice his whole life for leading in the end an unhappy life, only for making another person happy.

The giver in us follows the rule:

Do whatever you can to make the other person happy and avoid anything that makes the other person unhappy, even if it makes you unhappy. It’s the part of us that wants to make a big difference in the lives of others. This is our humanity.

The taker in us follows the rule:
Do whatever you can to make yourself happy and avoid anything that makes yourself unhappy, even if it makes others unhappy. It’s the part of us that wants the most out of the own life, it grows out of the basic instinct for self-preservation.

In everyday life, our two different personalities (giver and taker) usually solve problems together. They are in harmony and recognize the need to give and take when needed.

Normally, we are grateful, when a person is supportive. And we appreciate that. And we don’t abuse a person for the own means.

Our environment is like a lens through which we see, and our thoughts, feelings, and our behavior impact how we interact in our daily life. Our ethical behavior impacts our relationships and in the end our success.

After all, it pays to be nice because, as Austin Kleon put it, “the world is a small town,”.

Don’t show too much diplomacy in the business world….don’t see a concept in “give and take”!

Mark Twain once said:

“The principle of give and take; that is diplomacy— give one and take ten.” 

In some situations our behavior creates a “reality” in which we act effectively. Our behavior can lead to a meaningful opportunity to make a difference.

Wharton professor and author Adam Grant explains that givers think about talent differently:
“They look for the potential in everyone, and they set challenging goals for the people they work with. As a result, they tend to uncover “diamonds in the rough”, and more often than not, they’re able to bring these people to higher levels of potential than anyone thought possible.”

Successful givers try to promote talent, and in the end it’s a win-win for all. They try to bring out the best in people. They lift people up, instead of cutting them down.

Givers tend to gain advantages in four domains: networking, collaboration, talent development and influence.


  • Learn to watch your behavior and from time to time correct your attitude!
  • Leading ethically is not always easy, however it is the right thing!
  • Show your humanness, and give your trust!
  • You must not be a Mother Teresa to be a giver.


“Work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor, in short for a sort of life rather than a Monday to Friday sort of dying.” – Studs Terkel, 1972


  1. Great perspectives here Karin. I’ve always embraced an “evergreen” mentoring approach to business and life, centered on John Wesley”s mantra: “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”