Are You a Taker or a Giver

Are you a taker or a giver?
As a business coach and management consultant, I am always working with professionals and business owners to help them maximize their growth potential through effective selling and networking.
One of the biggest obstacles that I encounter with people that prevents them from achieving their full sales potential is when they try to SELL to everyone they meet, rather than attempting to build long-lasting mutually beneficial relationships.
The “TAKERS” are perpetually hunting, at the expense of planting the seeds to harvest long-term relationships.
You can spot the TAKERS a MILE AWAY!  You can spot them a mile away.  I see it in the MeetUp Group that I formed that has grown to 220+ members.   I see the overwhelming number of “TAKERS” in the business networking groups that I am affiliated with.  I see this myopic, self-centered behavior in my circles of friends, business acquaintances, clients, vendors, partners, suppliers, and ex-students that I interact with.
They ALL act a certain way.  You know:  “Hi! how am I!”  You feel dirty after talking to them and want to take a shower.   Call them the “Used Car Salesman.”
Following are a few very easy tests and simple questions to ask of yourself and others, to see if you/they are a Taker or a Giver (the “HUNTER” or the “FARMER.”)
hunter versus farmer
In all the years you’ve known them, they hardly ever express an interest in how you and your family are doing.
When you meet new people are you always looking at them as a potential client to be pitched, rather than seeing them as a potential new acquaintance?
When you go to a networking event, do you spend most of the time talking or listening?  Do you ask people why they are attending the event, what they hope to get out of it, what are the challenges they face, or do you talk about what you have to offer?
Do you approach every relationship as an opportunity to add value and serve, or a chance to turn a profit?
How often do you check in with friends, co-workers, peers, employees, just to see how they are doing?
Do you go out of your way to make introductions to people that you think that can benefit from meeting each other, even if there is no financial gain for you?
Do you push aside the prospect of doing volunteer work or community engagement, because you don’t see any material gain to be had?
Do you send people birthday cards and Thank-You notes on a regular basis?
Do you send interesting articles, useful resources, or links to information to people if you think they can benefit from the information?
Are you always looking to try and get things out of people, or try to negotiate the best deal from others versus paying people what they are worth?
We all deal with significant pressure and stress in today’s global contract workplace.  There is no such thing as job security anymore, and one in four Americans are working on their own.   To use the excuse that you have to take this approach because there are so many stresses is a cop out.  We ALL face challenges to our time balancing work and family.  We all face uncertain times, restricted job prospects and our careers and professional pursuits are challenged.
So, are you a taker or a giver?
As business owners, the risk you take in all of your social and business dealings is alienating people that we turn off by trying to sell to.  Choose the alternate approach of building mutually beneficial relationships based on trust, respect, common interests and a genuine desire to serve others and you will be amazed how receptive people are to what you have to offer.  the “selling” comes as a result of building strong relationships.
The question is, do you care enough about others to put aside your own needs to pursue helping others.
Ethan Chazin, The Compassionate Executive Coach, Management Consultant, Business Coach
No Organization is Too Small to Plan Big.