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March 10th, 2017

Self-Protective givers are generous, but they know their limits. Instead of saying yes to every help request, they look for high-impact, low-cost ways of giving so that they can sustain their generosity — and enjoy it along the way. – Adam Grant and Reb Rebele

By Ron Nakamoto

This article adds an important distinction, the self-protective giver, to Adam Grant's work described in his book "Give and Take". This is consistent with our ideas about how to "Go B.I.G." (begin in gratitude); that is, start with self-respect, kindness and courtesy towards yourself.

Also, embedded in this article is a short summary entitled "7 Habits of Highly Productive Giving", which I found as useful as anything else in this article. the 7 Habits are:

1. Prioritize the help requests that come your way — say yes when it matters most and no when you need to.
2. Give in ways that play to your interests and strengths to preserve your energy and provide greater value.
3. Distribute the giving load more evenly — refer requests to others when you don’t have the time or skills, and be careful not to reinforce gender biases about who helps and how.
4. Secure your oxygen mask first — you’ll help others more effectively if you don’t neglect your own needs.
5. Amplify your impact by looking for ways to help multiple people with a single act of generosity.
6. Chunk your giving into dedicated days or blocks of time rather than sprinkling it throughout the week. You’ll be more effective — and more focused.
7. Learn to spot takers, and steer clear of them. They’re a drain on your energy, not to mention a performance hazard. 

Since "Generosity" is a vital part of our tool "The Levels of Gratitude" and an important skill that we train and develop in our work, Grant and Rebele's ideas add to our working knowledge of how to make Gratitude part of our character and thereby influence those around us in increasingly more positive ways.

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Selflessness at work leads to exhaustion — and often hurts the very people you want to help. Here’s how to share your time and expertise more effectively.

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