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As we’ll explain in this summary, givers tend to create more helpful networks than matchers or takers.Weak Ties and Dormant Ties The core of why giving works seems to work is that you can’t perfectly predict who will be useful to you in the future.
But givers are sometimes afraid of giving in the workplace, as it may signal weakness or naivete.When people perceive the workplace as zero-sum and other people as matchers, they want to respond in kind. President Lincoln was a giver, known to be among the least self-centered US presidents.In his first Senate run, he gave up his 2 place candidate (he believed this was better for the state).Someone you help might unpredictably become your boss or client in the future.If you selectively target only people you believe will help you, you ignore all the unproven people whose connections would have turned out to be helpful. Takers like to get more than they give, seeing the world as a competitive place and primarily looking out for themselves.
Givers like to give more than they get, paying attention to what others need.
Plus, because most people professionally tend to be matchers, the “lower status” people you help as a giver tend to really appreciate your giving.
Takers and matchers take advantage of the reciprocity tendency.
When he won the presidency, Lincoln gave cabinet seats to his Republican opponents, where a matcher might have reciprocated allies’ support by appointing them, and a taker would have appointed “yes men” to build his power.
Lincoln believed he had “no right to deprive the country” of the services of the best men.
And matchers balance and give on a quid pro quo basis, willing to exchange favors but careful about not being exploited.