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Adding value to an organization requires people to be generous to others. Givers help people connect, sponsor promising ideas, share their knowledge with others without a hitch, and even volunteer to do work that requires time and effort.
These people, who are often called ‘servant leaders’ when they move up the corporate ladder, are at a huge risk of burnout.
Collaborative overload is common in workplaces all across the world, and the selfless givers who put the company’s and other's interests over their own are the victims. They cannot say no to extra work and responsibilities, often drawing in endless meetings, projects, and emails.
These givers are at risk of burnout and are also making other people sit idle who could have taken their load. Successful companies are increasingly wanting their employees to protect their time, and ensure a work-life balance.
A selfless attitude to help others seems to be logical for givers, but tends to have the opposite effect on others. A study on teachers trying to tutor students revealed that those who were exhausting themselves trying to help every student by working nights and weekends had students achieve lower scores at the end of the year.
Selfless givers lose out, and end up hurting the people they wanted to help.
We are all time-constrained and saying No to certain requests frees up our time to say Yes to stuff that matters the most.
Being productive does not mean draining yourself trying to fulfill every ad hoc request of others, and is actually a great way to experience burnout.
Being an effective and productive giver needs some thought on how one can help, when can help be given and whom you can help.
One needs to identify two or three ways that one does well and enjoys, to offer unique value as a giver.
Givers will be attracted to takers and would even trust them. Here are a few signs to watch out for:
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