Don’t Be a Doormat

How can you be a more generous professional without letting other people step all over you? By doing one favor at a time.

So-called sharks have a reputation for succeeding in business. But kind, good-natured people can also be tremendously successful as professionals. The key to be conscientious about generosity, giving in a way that promotes not just other people’s success, but also your own.

Generously helping other people—whether it’s a colleague, an acquaintance, or someone you’re mentoring—requires resources like time and effort. It’s up to you to handle these resources in a way that minimizes burnout and decreased productivity. The best “givers” learn to set boundaries such as placing a limit on how much time and effort they’re willing to share. Failed givers often work too hard at their own expense, which can give someone else a boost in the short term while sabotaging their own work and wellness in the long term.

Is it really better to give than receive? The psychologist and business whisperer Adam Grant thinks so. Take his advice with our Instaread on Give and Take.

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