Last Thursday, I wrote an article that announced the new Helpfull Professionals group on LinkedIn; its sole focus is on attracting professionals who are genuinely interested in helping others. Over the past week, over 2,800 people have joined.
I started things off by asking members to provide specific examples of the differences between takers and givers. This wasn't a random question; the better we understand the differences, the easier it will be to accurately identify in workplaces the highly successful givers. Once we can do this, it will become much easier to identify and share strategies that make givers successful.
"OK, I will be honest with all of you! I am an absolutely selfish person! Yes, I help others just because it makes ME feel good!!!" wrote Elena Popova, and then explained, "That was the reason I care for Alzheimer's patients. They are that perfect example of people who need my help and enthusiasm, but they might never appreciate my effort to ease their pain and suffering, most of them do not know my name, the day of week, the season of the year or the year itself."
No question, Elena is a giver.
Susan Keil, CCDM added this observation about email habits. "Takers, when responding to a busy email thread, may... delete significant contributions made by others. Their responses often may be cryptic, not include everyone necessary on the distribution list, and be written in an authoritative or condescending tone. Givers, when responding to the same thread, may set up a teleconference for all parties to put a halt to the email busyness, may respond privately to the party most needed to efficiently move the issue forward, and then be certain everyone is on the same page once a proposed method for moving forward is obtained."
Ed McFarland offered, "Takers view life as a zero sum game, they keep score and concern themselves over who got what. Givers see life as anything but a zero sum game, they give and help, not because of any immediate gratification, but rather because it is simply the right thing to do."
If you haven't already, I hope you will join us, too.
Here are direct links to a few of the other discussions people have started in this group:
Victoria Alexander-Lane asked, "What if..... we were a company and all of the people that have self-selected to be in this group were employed by this company. What would be the challenges and what would success look like?"
Here's where new members can introduce themselves.
If you're not sure which side of the fence you prefer (giver or taker), here's a quick overview of two potential career strategies...
Bruce Kasanoff (@NowPossible on Twitter) is the author of Simplify Your Future, a free eGuide that drives his career, life and consulting practice. To see more of Bruce's articles on LinkedIn, click the "follow" button below.
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