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Give and Take by Grant Adam Book Summary

An innovative, groundbreaking book that will captivate readers of Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Pink, The Power of Habit, and Quiet For generations, we hav

 The name of the book we will learn from today is “Give and Take” written by Adam Grant.

Adam Grant is an author and psychologist. Grant has authored three New York Times bestsellers: Give and Take, Originals, and Option B. He hosts the podcast work life, and his ted talk on original thinkers & givers, and takers have received more than 14 million views (Give and Take).

Give and Take by Grant Adam Book Summary

Give and take: A revolutionary approach to success by Adam Grant is an exciting perspective on the three different types of people in life; givers, takers, and matches. By identifying and assessing the other characteristics of each, the grant provides an exciting insight into who is more successful in life based on their approach. With real-life examples, grant offers plenty of helpful advice on navigating situations and getting the most out of them while contributing to others.

Givers, Takers & Matchers

The author has identified three basic styles of social interaction: giving, taking, and matching. Takers like to get more than they give. They put their interests ahead of others’ needs and use reciprocity to their advantage. Takers believe we live in a competitive, dog-eat-dog world. Givers prefer to give more than they get, generously sharing their time, energy, knowledge, skills, ideas, and connections, for other people to benefit.

Most of us are matchers aiming for a delicate balance between giving and taking. Matchers have high fairness standards: they help others authentically, but they also protect themselves by seeking reciprocity. “success depends heavily on how we approach our interactions with other people. Every time we interact with another person at work, we have a choice: do we try to claim as much value as possible or contribute value without worrying about what we receive in return?”

Building Networks

Through solid networks, people over the centuries have gained invaluable access to knowledge, expertise, and influence (Give and Take).

Protecting your network: To safeguard the value of our network, we tend to keep away the takers, withholding our trust and help. But unfortunately, many takers have evolved into fake givers or matchers to access other people’s networks (Give and Take).

Takers are especially convincing around influential people – they charm and flatter their way up. As they gain more power, though, they start paying less attention to how they’re perceived by their peers, over time jeopardizing their relationships and reputation (Give and Take).

To recognize a taker in your network:

1. Access other networks to see how they have treated their peers.

2. Observe their actions & conversations for signs of self-glorification and self-absorption.

3. Use the power of the internet to track down reputational information through public databases, shared connections, and social network profiles – words and photos can reveal profound clues about us.

The main element of a robust, well-balanced network is reciprocity. To maintain a strong network built around the exchange, ask yourself:

1. Do I care about helping, or am I just trying to create a quid pro quo so I can later ask for a favor? If yes, then people on the receiving end might feel like they’re being manipulated (Give and Take).

2. Do I help based on the attitude of “I’ll do something for you if you do something for me”? Again, this will narrow your network only to connections with an immediate benefit at least as great as the benefit you’ve offered in exchange. 

 “Instead of trading value, aim to add value. You should be willing to do something that will take you five minutes or less for anybody.”

Growing your network

Weak ties & acquaintances – weak ties are acquaintances we know casually. Surprisingly, people are significantly more likely to benefit from their weak ties than their strong ones because strong ties provide bonds; weak ties serve as bridges to new information; strong ties access the same social circles and opportunities as we do; weak ties open up access to a different network and original leads. Yet, although weak ties are the fastest route to new information, we sometimes feel uncomfortable asking for help because of the lack of mutual trust (Give and Take).

In other words, genuinely help people a lot, and if you need something in the future, don’t hesitate to ask for help directly. If someone generously helped us a while ago, we will naturally go out of our way to give back and reciprocate.

Dormant ties are people you used to know well or often see, but with whom you have since fallen out of contact. Just like the weak ties, dormant ties, while you were out of touch, have been exposed to new ideas, perspectives, and opportunities (Give and Take).

When you reactivate a dormant tie through a short conversation, you will still feel trust since there is already some common ground (Give and Take).

Recognizing the potential in others

There is an immense value in surrounding ourselves with stars. In networking, givers succeed significantly by recognizing the potential in others. To explain why we need to understand that our beliefs create self-fulfilling prophecies.

For example, teachers’ beliefs that their students are bloomers beget high expectations for their success, resulting in supportive behaviors that boost the students’ confidence and enhance their learning and development.

However, takers tend to hold relatively low expectations for the potential of their peers and subordinates.

On the other hand, matchers are better equipped to inspire self-fulfilling prophecies. When people demonstrate high potential, they go out of their way to support, encourage, and develop them (Give and Take).

Givers don’t wait for signs of potential. Instead, they tend to be trusting and optimistic about other people’s intentions, inclined to see the potential in everyone. They view people as bloomers, investing much of their time encouraging and developing people to achieve this potential, even if these investments sometimes pay off.

We all use our influence skills whether we want to convince others to buy our products, accept our ideas, or invest in us. The best influence involves dominance (others see us as strong, powerful, and authoritative) and prestige (others respect and admire us). Takers are naturally only attracted to gaining dominance, striving to be superior to others, and extracting as much value as possible (Give and Take).

They exercise assertive communication by:

• Speaking forcefully

• Raising voices to assert authority

• Selling with conviction and pride

• Promoting their accomplishments

• Raising their eyebrows in challenge

• Displaying strength in dominant poses

• Expressing certainty to project confidence

• Commanding as much physical space as possible

The opposite style is called powerless communication, instinctively adopted by givers, who tend to:

• Speak less assertively

• Reveal their weaknesses

• Expressing plenty of doubt

• Rely heavily on advice from others

• Talk in ways that signal vulnerability

• Make use of disclaimers and hesitations

Surprisingly, the dominant style of takers only sometimes serves them well, while the type of givers proves effective in building prestige. Let’s see how this happens.


For takers, revealing weaknesses means compromising their dominance and authority. Conversely, givers build their prestige by making themselves vulnerable, mixed with other signals that establish their competence (Give and Take).

Selling – Takers might be convincing and pithy with their selling skills. However, givers tend to ask questions out of natural interest in others, building trust and gaining more profound knowledge about their customers’ needs and how to sell them things they already value.

Persuading – Tentative talk – Takers use powerful communication, being assertive and direct, pressuring subordinates, and ingratiating superiors. Givers tend to use tentative markers like “well,” “you know,” “kinda,” “maybe,” “this may be a bad idea, “but” “that’s a good idea, right?” Sending a clear message to the audience that they lack confidence and authority. However, this style ears plenty of prestige because it shows a willingness to take on the audience’s point of view into consideration (Give and Take).

Becoming a successful giver

There are two types of givers: selfless, with high other-interest, and low self-interest. Unfortunately, they usually pay the price for it. Givers are willing to give more than they receive and have ambitious goals for advancing their interests.

To become a successful giver without wasting time on takers who extract value and move on, you need to be systematic in how you help others:

• Pay more attention to who is asking

• Pay attention to how they treat you

• Make a list of reasons to say no.

Tit for Tat – Selfless Givers make the mistake of trusting others all the time, while otherish givers use an amazing tit-for-tat strategy; they count as a default assumption but adjust their reciprocity level when someone appears to be a taker by action or reputation (Give and Take).

 When dealing with takers, otherish givers shift into matcher mode as a self-protective strategy, but once out of every three times, they shift back into giver mode, granting so-called takers the opportunity for redemption.

Fitting in & Standing out – We constantly look for ways to fit in and stand out. A popular way to achieve optimal distinctiveness is to join a unique group. Being a part of a group with shared interests, identities, goals, values, skills, characteristics, or experiences gives us a sense of connection and belonging, satisfying our need to fit in (Give and Take).

A culture of direct requests – The vast majority of giving occurs in response to direct requests for help. In a group setting, people feel comfortable requesting because there’s little reason to be embarrassed.

Matchers are drawn in by empathy and a sense of fairness. Takers act like givers in a public setting because they’ll gain reputational benefits for being generous in sharing their knowledge, resources, and connections. Conversely, if they don’t contribute, they look stingy and selfish and won’t get much help with their requests.

The definition of success

With a few adjustments, the orientation toward giving can enable people to rise to the top. Focus your attention and energy on making a difference in the lives of others, and success will follow as a by-product. Takers view success as attaining superior results, and matchers see success in balancing individual accomplishments with fairness to others (Give and Take).

Givers characterize success as individual achievements that positively impact others. “givers get to the top without cutting others down, finding ways of expanding the pie that benefit themselves and the people around them.”

In a business context, if success required benefiting others, takers and matchers would be more inclined to find other ways to advance personal and collective interests simultaneously. However, by shifting in the giver direction at work, we will find our waking hours marked by tremendous success, richer meaning, and more lasting impact (Give and Take).

 “Givers get to the top without cutting others down, finding ways of expanding the pie that benefit themselves and the people around them.”

Key takeaways

• There are three basic styles of social interaction: giving, taking, and matching (aiming for a balance between giving and taking).

• Instead of trading value, aim to add value (Give and Take).

• Givers succeed significantly by recognizing the potential in others.

• Through vulnerability, asking questions, and talking tentatively, givers benefit from powerless communication to build prestige and influence.

• Successful givers are willing to give more than they receive and have ambitious goals for advancing their interests.

• Givers characterize success as individual achievements that positively impact others.



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Education Learn Solution - Best Platform to Explore Books.: Give and Take by Grant Adam Book Summary
Give and Take by Grant Adam Book Summary
An innovative, groundbreaking book that will captivate readers of Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Pink, The Power of Habit, and Quiet For generations, we hav
Education Learn Solution - Best Platform to Explore Books.
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