Some time ago I wrote on this site a piece around Adam Grant’s book “Give and Take”, writing:
“what I do is look for ways to help others. I have interesting conversations with interesting people, explore, flow, and always look to find some way to be of value to them, whether it is by co-creating with them, or perhaps by connecting or introducing them to an idea, person, concept, story or simply a book.”
This week in Edinburgh I met up for coffee with a daughter of a dear friend. Last year my friend had asked me if I knew anybody who might be able to help her get a job after graduating from university. I introduced her to someone and the story moved on from there. Today she thanked me for something that came from that which was quite unexpected, so had me think back on Adam Grant’s concept of Givers, Matcher and Takers, and also to consider again the value of thanking the givers in our lives.
Givers, Matchers and Takers
First, let me summarise the concept outlined by Adam Grant of Givers, Matchers and Takers. Typically we used to think of people as being either givers or takers, yet when Adam studied this he realised that while it is quite easy to recognise the takers in life and choose whether or not we help them, there is actually a key distinction between givers and matchers.
In short, a matcher is someone who gives with the expectation of later receiving something in return. A giver, on the other hand, has an abundance mindset, they give with zero expectation of anything in return, they give because they love giving.
Now, as there is often no formal connection between what a giver gives abundantly and what it may create, those givers may not hear back about what their abundance has created, hence today I am talking about the value of thanking the givers in your life.
Ripples in the pond
So, this week I met my friend’s daughter for coffee. Last year when asked if I could help her find a job, I felt I didn’t know any direct contacts who might have a job for her, but I did make an introduction to a really positive and generous person in Edinburgh who I knew to be deeply connected and who would undoubtedly know someone who could help her.
She sent me an email that introduced her. I was really impressed that a 22-year-old would instinctively know how to phrase this so I could simply pass it forwards by email to my contact. I then did this, simply asking him to give her half an hour of his time to see who he might be able to then suggest to her to contact.
Making a not so long story short, here we are in March the next year and she is well established working for this person, loving her job, and clearly, they love her being part of their team.
So far, so unexpected, and the coffee meeting this week was the first time I had seen her since she got the job, so there was an energy of both celebration and giving and receiving thanks.
It really charged my batteries to feel I’d made a difference for her and for my contact in connecting them. What I then heard was unexpected and really gave the batteries a turbo boost. She told me that, after she joined the firm, her new boss told her of an opportunity that was coming about as a friend of his family was leaving the country and needed someone to take over their fledgeling business. Would my friend’s daughter know anybody? It turns out that yes, indeed, she did. One of her good friends is now running that business. She turned to me and said, “you see, now two people have jobs thanks to you”.
Wow, what a lovely feeling. To be thanked for something tangible one has played a part in, to have dropped a pebble in the pond that continues to ripple outwards.
Thank the givers
It certainly charged my batteries to be thanked for being a giver.
It also reminds me of a relatively recent occasion where I had the opportunity to thank someone who had, perhaps unknowingly, given so much to me through one introduction he made for me back in 2010.
I wrote the full story of this in “Thank those who connect you“.
I hope that, in reading this article and those earlier ones I have linked to here, that you think about then do two things :
First, consider where you give and where you simply match in your thoughts and actions
Second, find at least one person who has given abundantly to you and where you can thank them for the positive impact of that for you and for ripples beyond you.
Also published on Medium.