Go further, together

When Wharton superstar organisational psychologist Adam Grant studied the relationship between giving and taking, he found that the best and worst performers are givers, whilst takers and matches are mid-level performers. More importantly, the best performers are the givers who give in a way that suits their strengths, and still look out for their own interests.

What this translates to, is that having boundaries trumps being a martyr at work. And when you can honour your own needs and respect the fact that you have your personal agenda, everybody wins.

We all differ in how much we like to work with others; some genuinely enjoy the partnership, others are solely interested in the social aspect. Then there are those who regard working together as a waste of time. All three stances are valid, because we have different needs and organisational cultures.

Working together goes beyond playing nice and having efficiency dragged down; it’s also about leveraging different strengths and ideas, to create the best outcomes and strong healthy work cultures where everyone shines. And, people support each other emotionally and professionally.

Here, I invite you to consider how you can become a part of that culture where people go further, together.

Receiving support

When it comes to receiving support from others– whether asking or taking it when offered– what are you like? Support here means both tangible help (e.g. outsourcing, delegating, collaborating) or seeking feedback and advice.

  • I find it easy/ok/difficult to seek support from those at a similar level of work.
  • I find it easy/ok/difficult to seek support from those above me.
  • I find it easy/ok/difficult to seek support from those below me.

Considering the above, what do you notice about your relationship to receiving support?

  • These are my patterns to receiving support:
    • It is too much/too little/just alright.
    • Here’s what needs to change:
    • Here’s where I could do with extra support.
    • Here’s what’s stopped me.
    • Here’s how I’d benefit.

Providing support

Next up, reflect on your relationship to giving support.

  • I find it easy/ok/difficult to give support to those at a similar level of work.
  • I find it easy/ok/difficult to give support to those above me.
  • I find it easy/ok/difficult to give support to those below me.

Considering the above, what do you notice about your relationship to giving support?

  • These are my patterns to giving support:
  • It is too much/too little/just alright.
  • Here’s what needs to change:
  • Here’s where I could do with extra support.
  • Here’s what’s stopped me.
  • Here’s how I’d benefit.

Going forward

Actioning these:

  • Here’s who I can give support in meaningful ways that energise me. E.g. setting aside an hour fortnightly to mentor juniors; or something you’re already good at, that takes five minutes.
  • Here’s how I can identify areas I’d like to grow or habits to break, via coaching. Because the best in every field grow with someone else in a way that suits their personality, lifestyle and goals.

Finally, if it’s difficult or even impossible for you to access or give support, then perhaps it’s time to consider if where you’re at has an accountability culture. In such cultures, people are above the line, take responsibility, and look for solutions. Whereas those who are below the line push blame and stay mired in a victim mindset, looking for problems. Or you could be around people who hog credit and only take favours.

If you are interested in developing more accountability in your culture, why not book a complimentary Performance Call.