A circle of people sit across an open pit that has a single bowl of soup in the middle. Each person sitting around that open pit has a spoon with a handle the length of the radius of the circle.
The folks sitting around the hole are starving. They’ve been struggling so long to reach the food, they’re emaciated from hunger. They’re mere skin on skeleton.
We watch as each one tries to feed himself from the bowl, but they can’t reach the food because the handles of the spoons are far too long for them to eat from. Fighting is imminent at this point.
A woman pokes the spoon at another on the other side of the cavern in frustration and is struck with an idea. She realizes she can feed him. She fills her spoon and her hand trembles as she tries to hold it out for the man across from her to eat.
The others raise their spoons under hers to support her efforts.
The man, confused, finally takes the food. Everyone begins dipping their spoons in the bowl and feeds the people they can reach.
This was an ad for Caritas Internationals’ campaign, “One Human Family, Food for All”.
Givers and Takers
The ad was based on an ancient story about hunger and sharing. But it’s a perfect description for today’s workplace (office).
The new economy is no longer about the Takers, the way the “Wolf of Wall Street” lived. It’s not about stepping on people to get to the top (although, the people that do, probably always will in some way, shape, or form – and they’ll always fall).
It’s not about going it alone. Lone Ranger – not so much anymore.
Today’s economy, today’s business, today’s most awesome workplace cultures are built on the backs of Givers. The people who want to see others succeed. The people who want to help their colleagues reach their goals.
It’s about being open to help.
The Givers win not only with profits, growth, employee engagement as Nathan Podsakoff of the University of Arizona uncovered in his meta-analysis of 3500 different businesses in different industries. They win with a higher customer satisfaction rate, a higher rate of efficiency, more effective collaboration, and better productivity.
I would argue that all of that comes from feeling good about what you do and whom you do it with @ the office…
Think about it. When someone asks you for help and you say, “Sure! Let’s see what we can do”, how do you feel mentally? Physically?
There’s a boost to your emotional well-being when you find yourself being helpful. Therefore, you do it more often. When you feel good about something, you continue doing it because you want to, because you need to.
It’s human nature. It’s human psychology. It’s being a human being. (Maslow’s Hierarchy for more info).
Be a Better Giver
You want more success? You want happier customers? You want a dream team that WANTS to come to work every day and make great things happen for you?
Sharing is Caring…
1. When someone asks you for help, give it. With an open heart, not a bitchy one. Avoid keeping score. Help – just because…
2. When you see someone struggling, offer your knowledge. What will it cost you?
3. If you’re honestly too busy to help, find them someone who can. Will take two seconds. You have that, don’t you?
4. If they can wait until you’re less busy, schedule a time to make it happen. Because putting it on your calendar? Guarantees it happens.
5. ABG. Always be giving. Keep your eyes open to opportunities to give (there’s a magnificent bit of Karma in that, too).
“You can have everything in life that you want, if you just give enough other people what they want.” ~Zig Ziglar
How far will you go as a better Giver this year?