You’ve probably heard that saying that nice guys finish last when it comes to women and life. Although this phrase tends to boil down the complexities of life into one short sentence, it does have some points. There are many situations where nice guys are not treated well because of their nice qualities that make them seem more mild-mannered and polite. This doesn’t mean that men and women need to be jerks in life when they want to get what they are driving for either. There are times when the nice business guy or gal can come in first.
Positive Leadership Qualities
You’ve probably had all different types of leaders during your formative years, college, and in the workplace. Most of these you can probably categorize as the ones that you wanted to work hard for and the ones that you wanted to escape notice. Typically, the ones that got you to do your best work were the ones that might be considered to have nice qualities while the other category of leaders were usually the ones that tried to get their way by yelling or being overly aggressive. Employees that feel as though their leaders and bosses care about them as an individual are going to be more productive, and those that feel neglected, are going to let that show in their work performance.
Bend but Not Break
Being nice doesn’t have to equate to being passive. A good business person can be polite and well-mannered, and still, get the job done when it comes to inking a new deal or getting a sale. Most people that are considered nice should have the skill set of being able to bend but not break meaning that they can be flexible in work within negotiations. It’s pretty amazing what can be accomplished by nice people when they are willing to work with the other parties involved to find solutions that can be win-win for everyone rather than trying to be more aggressive and take it all for themselves.
Nice Can Equal Successful
Stefan Klein is a scientist who wrote a book about being nice and altruism. It boils down to how people, in general, have a nature that wants to work well together and be charitable. That can mean that individuals who show these qualities can be successful because most people want to associate with these positive qualities. Some business individuals have this idea that the only way to succeed is by being greedy or cut-throat, and this behavior may get some people into a good position, but more times than not, acting in such a way is going to turn off other individuals in the long-run. What business executive wants to have a ruthless partner that they cannot trust in business? This partnership will probably not last long.
Communicating the Way Your Mother Taught You
You might have heard many phrases that equated to being quiet if you had nothing nice to say as a kid. Yes, business can be brutal, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t communicate in the way that your mother taught you to with polite society. Think before you speak and if the thought is one that could damage the situation or have you end up a viral sensation on social media for all the wrong reasons, keep the thought to yourself. Social media and comment sections in blogs are perfect examples of how nice guys do come in first. Zulily had a perfect example of the right thing as they refunded a coat sale and asked the person to donate the coat to a local charity rather than sending it back to the company. This probably worked out well for them, so they didn’t have to deal with a potentially out-of-season item since they don’t typically accept returns, and gave them some good public relations materials. Responding with the first negative thought to a bad situation may make you and your company look bad, so take the time to think before speaking or typing.
Toxic relationships are not just those among friends and family but can exist in the business world, too. You may even be able to think of a few toxic business relationships that you currently have or had in the past. These are clients that ask for too much and balk at the price, never pay on time, and even ignore your expertise on a project. Just because you are nice when it comes to the business world, doesn’t mean that you can’t finish first with these clients. The best thing that you can do in this situation is cut off the business relationship in a polite, but firm manner and start looking for nice clients.
Don’t feel as though you have to harden up or change who you are to get ahead in the world. Yes, there are times when being nice might be equated with being a pushover, but that doesn’t have to be the case. These areas are all ones that can help a nice person get ahead without having to resort to unfair or unfriendly business practices.