Some years ago, when I used to have lots of one to one meetings with people I met at networking events, I arranged to have such a get together with an accountant.

As I recall, he worked in quite a large practice in the south west.

The conversation turned to the concept of ‘givers gain’:  the idea that, if you help others, they will be highly predisposed to help you in return.  Not out of a sense of obligation (though there will certainly be some of that), but rather because, by offering and delivering help first, you show that you are an inherently decent person and others like to work with such people.

At which point, the accountant pulled open one of his desk drawers and retrieved an A4 ledger which he opened.  He showed me the two facing pages on which he recorded the value of the work that he had received from others, and the value of work he gave to others.  His intention was to ensure that he did not pass to others work of a higher value than he received.

This wonderful, true story demonstrates the application of the scarcity model, big time.

Whether the fact that the man was an accountant predisposed him to this approach, or whether his cast of mind impelled him to be an accountant, I cannot say.

However this wonderful, true story demonstrates the application of the scarcity model, big time.  A belief that there is not enough to go around—not enough work, not enough money, ultimately, not enough love—“and I’ll be damned if I don’t get my fair share”.

In thinking he would be out of pocket by passing work of a greater value than he received, he completely failed to recognise the substantial amount of work he would likely have got from people who saw someone with a more giving nature.

It didn’t help that the networking organisation to which we both belonged—BNI—at that time (ten years ago) ran a country wide scarcity model in the UK (I strongly suspect it was rather different in the States).  (They might not recognise this, by the way, but it was clear from their meetings and the marketing collateral that this was the case).  So someone like my accountant colleague would both recognise kindred spirits in the organisation and feel exonerated for his attitude by them.

This is a shortened extract from Network better, by Jeremy Marchant, ediyed 30 april 2019
© 2019 Jeremy Marchant Limited . image: Free images

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