Who Will Sit in That Chair?

Abundance Books


Key Point: When you interact with people, are you a GIVER, MATCHER or TAKER? Adam Grant’s work in his book Give and Take validates and provides powerful insights underlying the Character Triangles’ principle of being ABUNDANT, with decades of research to back up his views. Grant points out that people differ dramatically in their preferences for reciprocity; the desired mix between giving and receiving. He describes three types of tendencies on the reciprocity continuum:

A. Takers: They have a distinctive signature. They like to get more than they give and usually try and put the reciprocity in their own favor.

B. Givers: According to Grant, they’re rare in the work place. They strive to be generous with their time, energy, skills, connections, and give value to others who can benefit without expecting anything else in return.

C. Matchers: They work to preserve an equal balance of giving and receiving. Matchers govern relationships based on the equality of favors exchanged. They tend to keep score.

Grant’s research notes that we often use all of these styles but we tend to lean towards one more than others. And guess what? Research shows that Givers are at BOTH the top and bottom of traditional success metrics. Some natural self-sacrificing Givers learn to be more effective than others. They rise to the very top of the success ladder (by the broadest of definitions). Unfortunately natural givers, who do not know how to protect themselves, can be taken advantage of and end up on the bottom of the same success ladder.

Character Moves:

  1. Instead of working to get successful AND THEN giving yourself to others, how about giving yourself as THE route to achieving success.
  2. Read Grant’s “Give and Take” to get the necessary insights of self-awareness to help most effectively apply your propensity to GIVE. (You can be a sincere Giver without being a doormat). Or learn more about the consequences if you tend to be a Taker or Matcher.
  3. As you approach relationships at work (and in your personal life) consciously look at the empty chair you are getting ready to occupy. Decide who is going to be sitting there. Is it you, the Giver? Or do you choose the Matcher or Taker route? I hope the Giver is there most of the time.

Successful Givers in the Triangle,


P.S. I receive no financial benefit from the sales of “Give and Take” :). I just think it is excellent work.