Developing greater comfort and skill with powerless communication requires a change in habits – from talking to listening, self-promoting to advice seeking, and advocating to inquiring. – Adam M. Grant, Ph. D. and author of Give And Take
Can I shift communications from answers to questions? Can I challenge myself to listen more and speak less? Can I continue to give for the sake of giving, not because of expectations or reciprocity? Can I always give credit when due? These are all questions I pondered as I dived into the art of giving, which clearly benefits individuals, groups, and organizations.
Reading and exploring the principles that Grant proposes in Give and Take, conjured up emotions I don’t usually experience while reading a business book. I found myself celebrating the likes of President Abraham Lincoln, professor C.J. Skender, and comedian George Meyer of The Simpsons fame. The examples of their lives and other givers helped me truly understand the importance of network, building great relationships, and continuing the giving nature of my soul. And at the turn of a page, I found myself getting angry with architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Jonas Salk, the international hero and inventor of the Polio vaccine. As it turns out Wright and Salk are what is known as takers. Salk gave no credit to the six researchers in his lab who were major contributors to the Polio vaccine – Byron Bennett, Percival Bazeley, L. James Lewis, Julius Youngner, Elsie Ward, and Francis Yurochko and Wright gave no credit to the teams of people who made his great works possible.
From frustration to fascination, I found myself wanting to operate from a giver mind-set in all of my actions. I believe in our ability to create our styles as artists and leaders, that we can also create giver identities and values for increased impact on the lives of both ourselves and our world.