I grew up in a family of giving; it has always been a part of who I am and what I do. To that end I strive to live by this famous quote:  “We make a Living by what we get, but we make a Life by what we give.” (To my dear sons, I hope you give generously and receive graciously!)

When reading Adam M. Grant’s book, Give and Take, on the topic of giving, I was inspired to explore the social style of giving; how when one gives generously they get far more than what they give.  According to Adam M. Grant there are three styles of social interaction, “giving, taking and matching.” He contends that all of these styles can be applied both professionally and personally.

Get involved in your community – Do well by doing good!

Giving can be a challenge when you feel that you don’t have the time, but there are many ways to give back that don’t involve a lot of time.  There are volunteer programs that require just one day a year and others that request a few sporadic hours over months.

When you give back to your community you will open yourself up to new people and new opportunities. By volunteering for what you truly care about you will network with community leaders, and that will lead you to be rewarded personally and professionally in ways you never imagined!

Receiving can also be a challenge. It can be difficult to open up and accept help from others. It can also be difficult to receive praise for the good deeds that we do.

Learning how to give and receive is the key to be rewarded by the act of giving back.  My secret to giving and receiving is to have a clear set of personal rules.  I encourage everyone to develop their own set of rules so you can give generously and receive graciously!

My own rules of engagement for giving and receiving:

Give Generously

1. Give with purpose and intent.

2. Give to what matters to you.

3. Be mindful that you can’t give to everyone.

4. Give from your heart and be genuine.

5. Give without expectation.

6. Give credit to others; life is bigger than oneself.

7. Protect your availability.

Receive Graciously

1. Accept praise for your generosity with grace and joy.

2. Do not undermine or second guess your generosity.

3. Be grateful for the opportunity.

4. Others will be inspired by your grace.

5. Be open to accept help from others.

6. Be respectful and timely in your receiving.

7. Be authentic.