The 5-Minute Favour


In a workplace, people are generally classified under 3 types: giver, taker and matcher. 

Giver: other-focused and provide support to others with no strings attached

Taker: self-focused and put their own interests ahead of others’ needs

Matcher: preserve an equal balance of giving and taking. Mindset: tit for tat

When I reflect on myself (which I would encourage you to do too) as an undergraduate student trying to find myself a place in the corporate world, I realize that I am a matcher. When I help others in general, I expect something in return, just like the saying tit for tat. 


However, have I tried helping others without expecting anything in return? 

The answer to this question is most likely, no. The majority of people do good for others if they can or have receive good from others.


Common attitude to the idea of helping others is the fact that it takes a lot of one’s effort and time.


Enters the 5-minute favor: “A five-minute favor is just a small way to add large value to other people’s lives,” Adam Grant says.


What are the common 5-minute favour


Take a look at the statistics below:

  • In a workplace, percentage of the three types of workers
  • Their performance: who achieve the best and the worst


It is a myth that in order to give back, you have to achieve success first. The most successful people are the ones who start giving right from day one. 


Why is this practice important?

  • Selfless givers can become a catalyst for change in the culture and environment of an entire organizations and communities
  • When giving starts to occur regularly, it becomes the new normal and people carry it from one interaction to the next 🡪 people begin to lead by example


The 5-minute favour debunks the idea that working environment is generally self-serving. This is a natural viewpoint as Adam Smith explains that the best economic benefit for all can usually be accomplished when individuals act in their self-interest. 


A simple act of kindness from a small interaction between an individual to another produces a butterfly effect. Individuals, partners, communities and organizations that are rooted in the idea to be givers can lead to realizing unrealized potentials.