Let’s look at two definitions of the word generous:
“Demonstrating a willingness to give more of oneself than is normally necessary or expected”
“Sympathetic in the way you deal with people; tending to see the good qualities in someone”
Two very interesting definitions.
The generous employee we’re considering here is not the employee who is willing to give away company resources. We’re not talking about Bob, the office manager, grabbing $50 from the cash drawer to help Alice with baby supplies.
We’re talking about a person who is generous with their own resources of time, money and effort.
How can we determine how generous someone is?
You could go about it this way:
“Allen, give me three examples of how you were generous at previous jobs.”
Observe how easily it is for Allen to come up with examples. If he comes up with them very easily, that’s a good sign. If it takes a bit of time, a bit of hemming and hawing, not the greatest sign.
Here’s another interesting approach:
“Allen, give me an instance at an earlier job where you wanted to be generous, but chose not to be.”
If you get a clear instance of this, find out why Allen decided not to be generous.
You’ll likely come up with your own methods of discovering how generous your applicant is.
I recommend doing so.
Generosity is a trait that can increase productivity and improve how smoothly things run.
Look for it when you can.
Encourage and reward it when you see it.
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