I rarely get old fashioned post so when my colleague said she had a card for me I assumed it was marketing material. It turned out to be a Christmas card from one of my clients. It was signed by everyone in the team that we’d worked with earlier in the year. It was wonderful. I took a photo of the card (inside and out) and emailed it to the team. Who immediately said how great it was to get a card and how they missed working with that client. I had the card on my desk and showed it to everyone that I talked to. It’s now in my locker, in the door as a reminder to me for the days when things are tough.
It’s the generosity that I’m delighted by. Our client had taken the time to think about us. Not just that, she found one of the corporate cards, and collected signatures from the team who all wrote a few words.
Adam Grant in Give and Take talks about three types of behaviours in the work place Givers, Takers and Matchers. Spoiler alert – according to his research the Givers are the most and worst successful groups. The best because they have built up a huge reserve of emotional capital with others and the worst because they can burn-out or be bullied.
Like my client, I too am a giver. I will try to go the extra mile for people. I don’t feel exploited. My problem, though, is that I end up, from time to time, taking on so much that I have a workload that I find overwhelming. That’s the bit that’s still work in progress. For the most part, I do it for the delight the I have from helping someone. I do it because, occasionally, I’ll receive an unexpected Christmas card from another who values giving.