Nice Still Matters
Have you ever had someone tell you that you are “too nice” in business? I have. And ironically, this feedback was given to me by my most respected, and highly accomplished boss and mentor. Is it wrong that nice is the only way I know how to be? I could blame my Mom and my Grandmother. But I won’t.
Here’s the good news. Several years ago, I read “The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness” by Linda Kaplan and Robin Koval. I seriously felt validated. Every story, every word in this book resonated with me. The power of nice was part of my motivation to get certified by The American School of Protocol in Business Etiquette.
Not only am I a true believer that nice matters, I am a believer that manners matter too. I believe civility can still rule, no matter what you hear or read in the daily news. I believe that kindness counts. And yes, success comes with nice too. In this ever-impersonal data driven, technology-dependent world, I know that the only thing that truly matters is people and relationships.
Nothing happens in business without relationships. Sincere and meaningful relationships based on trust and mutual respect. On human connection. The relationships and business encounters you remember, the conversations that inspired you, the ones that made you think, made you understand more deeply and fueled your belief in the goodness of people and the value of hard work had nothing to do with the biggest title or the most money. I am certain these motivational and maybe even life changing career moments occurred with the person who was the most respectful, the most genuine, trustworthy, inspiring and simply put, nice.
You can have a very rewarding career, make more money and possess the finest things. However, nothing counts in life more than kindness, helping people, listening more than you talk, being sincere and genuine, saying thank you, shaking hands and giving more than you get. Nice still matters. Maybe more than ever. Pay it forward. What nice thing are you going to do in business today?