Today's post continues my reflections after reading Beat Generosity Burnout by Adam Grant & Reb Rebele in the Harvard Business Review (link below).
Adam & Reb explain that my giving would be more effective if I was more proactive (rather than reactive). So instead of being all-things-to-all-people (= spread thin = worse for me, therefore less good done for others), it's important for me to identify the ways I want to give, and focus on bringing those skills to my relationships and organizations that matter most to me.
I LOVED the six profiles of giving; just reading through them was incredibly helpful in realizing I'm NOT being discerning in sharing my talents. Copied from the article, Adam & Reb describe the following profiles:
Experts share knowledge.
Coaches teach skills.
Mentors give advice and guidance.
Connectors make introductions.
Extra-milers show up early, stay late, and volunteer for extra work.
Helpers provide hands-on task support and emotional support.
So, I'm thinking aloud here: I have many individuals that I coach & mentor as a giver (after all, that's my professional work, too). Perhaps I should recognize that I can't really be the helpers in their lives, as well. There's a board I'm on that recently asked me to step up and become an expert; but as I'm already the expert on another board, I think I just need to continue to be the extra-miler (with a monthly dose of connector thrown in, as we strive to grow the work. When I think deeply about my commitment to generosity with these profiles in mind, I'm coming to a big a-ha: now that I'm raising teenagers, I need to keep my "helper" hat on for them -- in fact, I want to carefully pull back from providing too much emotional support to others (outside of my family), so I can be prepared for the ebbs and flows of emotional TLC my kids seem to need right now (so often, it comes via tears at 10:30 pm at night).
My haphazard generosity, if more carefully organized, might help me decrease my resentfulness (after all, giving is supposed to be joyful!) and also me be better a better helper, too. To personally propel this concept forward, I'm going to make a list of my commitments and honestly label the TOP 2 ways I feel I can be generous, as well as acknowledge the things I need to do better (or even -- and I'll say it boldly -- let go of). Then, I'm going to share with my husband, my #1 supporter and a kind truth-teller, too.
I'll share more and wrap-up my own reflections will wrap-up tomorrow