Leading Blog






09.17.08

Nice Guys Can Get the Corner Office

Nice Guys Can Get the Corner Office
Apparently, Nice Guys Can Get the Corner Office. The problem isn’t being a nice guy (or gal), the problem is in finding the right balance. It’s having the emotional intelligence to know how to interact with others without “giving away the store.” This book is about finding that balance.

According to the authors – Russ Edeloman, Timothy Hiltabiddle and Charles Manz - Nice Guy Syndrome is a big problem in today's workplace. 61% of people they surveyed said that they struggle with being too nice at work, and that they feel it has a negative impact on their success.

Most of us like to be considered “nice.” We want to be liked. We equate it with traits like cooperativeness and agreeableness, but it often ends up being manifested in unproductive behaviors that come across as weak, passive and docile. This can create a whole new set of (passive-aggressive) issues as we try to cope with being marginalized. What is “niceness?” How should it look? The authors define it as:
  • Attempting to optimize outcomes for both others and ourselves
  • Striving to balance assertiveness with cooperation to achieve a spirit of collaboration
  • Honoring the value and strength pf others and ourselves
  • Seeking optimal outcomes for everyone involved by emphasizing truthfulness and authenticity
  • Openly confronting challenges and disagreements and embracing the innovation-promoting benefits of constructive idea conflict.
They offer a Nice Guys Bill of Rights and their corresponding strategies to help you find the balance between being a pushover and being a jerk. If you are overly nice, understanding and recognizing these rights will help you to change your behaviors and how you are perceived. In the book they present strategies for practicing these rights in you life without jumping into the other ditch by overcompensating. If you happen to find yourself already in the other ditch, these strategies will help you to rein yourself in before you’re forced to.
  1. You have the right to SELF-AWARENESS – Know your strengths & weaknesses. Before you can set a course for where you want to go, first you must be completely honest about where you are. A thorough knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses is extremely valuable.
  2. You have the right to SPEAK UP – Let your opinions be heard. The ability and willingness to speak up is essential if you want your ideas to be heard. Learn to have an opinion, but understand that you don’t always need to express it.
  3. You have the right to SET BOUNDARIES – Set and respect them. "No" seems to be the hardest word for nice guys. Nice guys must set good boundaries and consistently reinforce them as needed.
  4. You have the right to CONFRONT – Address issues directly and without fear. Since nice guys instinctively want to get along with everyone , conflict is especially difficult to face. It is very important to learn to address issues directly and overcome the fear associated with confrontation.
  5. You have the right to CHOICE – Make choices without guilt. Nice guys often feel powerless, as if they have no choice in a given situation. The truth is that they frequently give away their power to choose. The key? To own your choices and, without guilt, to make the right decision for you and your organization - even if it means people will be angry or disappointed with you.
  6. You have the right to EXPECT RESULTS – Be accountable to others and yourself. Maintaining accountability sometimes makes you unpopular. Regardless, to be effective nice guys must be willing to hold others (and themselves) accountable for results and to follow through on their commitments.
  7. You have the right to BE BOLD – Push the envelope. Taking risks is extremely challenging for nice guys. If they want to succeed at a high level, however, they must be willing to go beyond their comfort zone and place a high value their goals and priorities.
  8. You have the right to WIN – Finish first. The business world is highly competitive. Nice guys, however, sometimes shy away from competition because they aren't comfortable with "winning" (and other people "losing".) While a win/win scenario is ideal, it is not always possible. Everyone is ultimately best served when the best ideas and solutions win, not when nice guys "play small." Nice guys owe it to themselves and their organizations to do their absolute best at all times and embrace winning.
  9. Posted by Michael McKinney at 10:59 AM
    | Comments (0) | Personal Development



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