In a similar vein of my recent blog post, The Gift of Giving and Building Your Network, I came across an article prepared by Software Advice’s Managing Editor, Holly Regan and Austin-area psychiatrist Dr. James Maynard, titled Psychological Profiles of the Dream Team: The Giver. The article expands upon the idea that “the Giver” has a very important role on every successful team. While they may not be a CEO, their role is just as significant. So, instead of focusing inward on ourselves and our personal networks, let’s now look outward and discover how giving can contribute to the success of a team.
We've previously discussed the benefits of putting other’s needs in front of our own. There are people who do this more naturally than others and it is often observable in all aspects of their life. At work, this translates into putting the company and other staff members first. While this is often a common trait among support staff, it is very important in leadership as well. The New Talent Times article identifies very prominent leaders who had such proclivities. Melinda Gates and Nelson Mandela for instance: Gates has been in an incredible leader in charitable giving through her role in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, whereas Mandela sacrificed 27 years in prison for the South African anti-apartheid movement and succeeded in becoming the country’s first black president.
These leaders were successful as givers for the following three reasons:
1. Refined people skills
3. Going above and beyond
These characteristics don’t always come so easily to the Giver. The mature Giver will focus on refining these skills and will benefit greatly from the balance it brings to their life.
Pitfalls of a Giver
As indicated above, there are some common pitfalls among the Giver personality type. The article states that less mature Givers struggle with communication and independence, and often lose themselves in the pursuit of serving others. Natural givers should be cognizant of these three pitfalls:
1. Fear of Confrontation
2. Tendency for Tunnel Vision
3. Predisposition to Burnout
Overcoming these boundaries will turn an ordinary support role into an invaluable team member.
Are you a Giver? For a more detailed look into what makes being a Giver great, I recommend reading the full article at The New Talent Times.
This is the first profile in The New Talent Times’ series, “The Psychological Profiles of the Dream Team,” which analyzes four types of top performers, the roles they excel in, and how to hire more people like them. The Giver is an important player on any Dream Team, particularly in a supporting or producer role, and tends to put others’ needs ahead of their own.
Special thanks to the great people at Software Advice for doing the leg work for me on this article.