Are you a giver or a taker? by Fiona Duncan-Steer, founder of RSViP Business Networking Agency

Fiona Duncan, Founder/Director of RSViP Business Network

Fiona Duncan-Steer, founder of RSViP Business Networking Agency, clearly defines the differences between the givers and takers of this world…

Interestingly, numerous studies within the sales and medical industries show that those who are more likely to spend their life getting burnt out more quickly and don’t perform as well are ‘givers’, however do make the organisations they work for much better by improving team spirit and generating higher revenue overall, but sadly to the detriment of themselves along the way…

I see this concept transcending through everything we do in life in both business and personal and being in the world of networking myself, I regularly endorse the act of giving and offering support, help or introductions, as opposed to taking what you can get and attending network events with the sole goal to get what you can from others and effectively draining those willing to give; those people often referred to as ‘vampires’ or ‘drain pipes’ who quite willingly suck the life out of you for all they can take for personal gain and who are often quite oblivious to the fact that they are doing this.

The stats say those people succeed quickly, but also fall quickly and hard too. It reminds me of my past life in the cut throat world of advertising for a lifestyle magazine; my boss told me after observing me for a few months that I was a farmer and not a hunter- sales terminology I had not come across before, but once explained made a lot of sense to me- the rest of my team were hunters giving it the hard sell and getting regular sales, however they also had the most cancellations and the worst retention rate compared to me and therefore had to work twice as hard.

I on the other hand spent time building relationships with potential customers, eventually converting them to clients. It took me longer to land the sale, but those customers renewed with me year on year, and were happy paying customers, unlike many of those who had been coerced or pressured into buying by the ‘takers’ of the company.

I have maintained this style of doing business right to present day, which has really worked out for me and I truly believe has helped me to create the successful Business Networking Agency I now run today. Being the ‘giver’ is a commendable asset and shows a quality character of you as a person, but often those who are natural takers may show less respect to givers and often take advantage of those willing to offer help/assistance/support continually.

Being a giver does not necessarily mean however that you are or have to be seen as a walk-over, as personality traits include warm, friendly and polite as well as easy to get along with often with strong social skills- they make great networkers and coaches!

Takers make the worst networkers because let’s face it, all they’re interested in is how you can help them, but what about how they can help you- seems unfair doesn’t it?

This is where the ‘matchers’ come in, a term used by psychologist and author Adam Grant for those who like to do ‘deals’, who are happy to offer up something in return for something else and I identify with these kind of people within business, based on the fact that I often use strategic partnerships as a form of marketing within my own business and am also a fan of contra-deals where relevant.

I don’t think there is anything negative about being a ‘matcher’ as most people are, which says that we live in a world where most people’s general intent is to behave fairly, however swaying towards being a ‘matcher/giver’, as opposed to a ‘matcher/taker’ is much more encouraged by Adam Grant, as his goal is to live in a world where there are more givers than anything else, resulting in a fairer, more successful society and business culture- statistically proven of course and I have to wholeheartedly agree.

In summary we can identify the givers and takers in four areas – those who are agreeable or disagreeable, which essentially defines the character and outer shell of each person’s motive operandi, for example a giver does not have to come across as a soft, overly nice walk-over to be taken advantage of and can still be assertive, much like a taker does not need to come across as an arrogant, narcissist, but can appear to be really quite agreeable- Let’s call these people ‘fakers’ many of which I have come across in my time!

Which one are you?

For more information contact Fiona Duncan, Director, RSViP, Tel:0115 9417 548
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