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  • Raghav Sand

Give Less and Take More: The Cause of Discord in Our Lives

Personal and professional relationships among humans are based on simple give-and-take approach. Unless, it’s a relationship based on compassion or charity, the above statement holds good. Since time immemorial, we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and good fortune. The tried and tested method of keeping self-interest continues to yield rich dividends, but there is a better and more refined way of getting things done. Purposeful common pursuits more often than not produce extraordinary success.

Takers, Matchers and Givers

How we interact with others and work towards mutually beneficial goals lays the foundation for individual and collective success. It turns out that at work, most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, givers are the rare variety of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return. Although some givers get exploited and burn out, the rest achieve extraordinary results across a wide range of industries.

Being acquainted with the dictionary meaning of discord is necessary to comprehend the rest of this article. As per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, discord means lack of agreement or harmony (as between persons, things, or ideas) and active quarrelling or conflict resulting from discord among persons or factions.

History is the Best Predictor of Future

Due to a superficial sense of entitlement from either party, relationships fail to deliver desired results. Whether it is the bilateral relations between nations or the simple employer-employee or vendor-client relationship, someone is always trying to keep the upper hand. This short-sighted and premeditated way of functioning is counterproductive in the medium to long-term.

Throughout history, the most productive and lasting relationships have been between matchers. Employers who treat and pay their employees well, get the best out of their present workforce and also attract the best candidates for new openings. Countries that have shared vision for both commerce and geopolitics avoid unnecessary friction. When a country tries to sell much more than it buys from another nation, this sows the seed of discord. When future generations harvest the crop of this imbalance, the relation between ‘trade partners’ turn sour.

Global think tanks and governmental agencies formulate roadmaps for sustainable development, but they miss an important point – development cannot be sustainable if it is not equitable. One should always be mindful of what they are getting by collaborating in a commercial venture. This line of thought does not only serve self-interest, but is a healthy way of self-preservation. No one is doing the other party a favour by fulfilling contractual agreements.

Balance is the Key to Life

Negotiating is more art, and less science. Depending on the vantage point, the scale of balance may tilt to a side, but it should not always be in the favour of one party. Strategic give and take creates a win-win situation. Citizens who expect more from their government should be ready to pay taxes, abide by the laws and participate in harmonious discourse.

Much of the world’s progress has been made due to the profit motive behind activities. In the future, self-awareness and self-respect will grow with the spread of education and information. It is in everyone’s best interest to match the value of resources they seek and provide. As and when every entity in the value chain is appropriately rewarded, the world will start to witness genuine and quantifiable benefits.

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