Reciprocation in the workplace

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant lays out three key reciprocation styles found in the workplace:

  • Takers see the world as a hypercompetitive rat race. Since they assume that no one else will look out for them, they place their own interests first and last. 
  • Matchers operate tit for tat. When people do them a favor, they repay in a capacity that is no more, no less. And when they help someone, they expect the same in return.
  • Givers focus on others more than on themselves. They pay close attention to what people need from them, whether it’s time or ideas or mentorship. A rarity in the workplace.

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There are 3 types of employees

cnbc.com

It’s important to distinguish between passive giving and negotiated giving:

  • Passive givers are giving in to avoid conflict, en route to stunted deals and lowered expectations.
  • Negotiated givers are more intentional in their generosity and stay focused on long-term goals.

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