The opening session at this year’s ASAE Annual Meeting was one of the best I’ve ever attended. Adam Grant, author of “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success”, discussed how success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. Out of the 3 interaction styles he outlined, the “Giver” is the most interesting and the one with the potential to be the most successful, especially in the world of association professionals.
What is a giver? “Givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return.” But how can we walk the fine line between becoming a successful Giver rather than an overworked doormat?
1. Learn the Ropes
When your members need help or have questions, really try to understand their issues. Helping them resolve issues gives you insight on how to more effectively serve their needs and makes you an asset to them and your organization. As you are helping others, you are gaining insight and information that leads to becoming a better problem-solver. Use this knowledge to leverage your own talents and open doors you never knew existed.
2. Make introductions
Paving the way for two people to connect in a meaningful way for a productive purpose can have a big impact! I’ve often run into situations where someone I met could benefit from knowing another contact of mine. By making those introductions, I’ve been able to help both of them out. Taking the short time to make those connections costs nothing, and they’ll remember it and maybe one day return the favor.
3. Invite Others to Help
A great way to give is to share opportunities with others. For instance, committees are a great way to volunteer your time for a cause, but don't hesitate to ask others to participate as well. More participants will help with committee tasks, alleviating a significant time commitment from you as an individual. Not only does this enforce a positive team mentality, but it is an efficient way to facilitate learning and growth and to make you more of a giver.
These 3 tips are effective, powerful, and do not require much in the way of a time-commitment. Start small, with one introduction per week, and work your way up to being a full-blown Successful Giver!