Be Nice!

There are a lot of cynics out there who might think this is the worst piece of career advice that I’ve dished out yet. But why is that? How can they not see the long-lasting, overall positive impact that comes from being nice?

It’s nice to be nice. It’s nice to receive something nice. It’s nice to be around others who are nice. True, the definition of “nice” is highly subjective, but for the most part we get the gist.

Wharton professor Adam Grant’s research on kindness cited in Harvard Business Review proved that when individuals employ more of a giving attitude, they and their organizations reap huge benefits. But they also need to ensure that they temper niceness so they are not taken advantage of. He also shares how organizations are looking to foster a giving attitude.

A study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin demonstrated how altruism—the practice of prioritizing the welfare of others—will increase someone’s social status within a group.

Looks like being nice does pay, especially when it comes to leadership and the organization’s bottom line. According to studies cited by Fred Kiel, head of the executive development firm KRW International, people worked harder and more happily when they felt valued and respected.

But even if the bottom line isn’t important to you, imagine your workday if you didn’t have any niceness in it? Not good.

So why not be the model of change?

We teach our children the importance of being nice from their very first interaction with others all the way through school and onto their first interview.

So why should we be the exception?

The next time you’re at your local bookstore, take a peek at how many children’s materials are focused on the message “It’s nice to be nice.” Disney’s Goldie & Bear even sing a song claiming “Bein’ Nice is Easy.”

So why would we let our kids believe it if we’re not willing to give it a try?

Here’s what they have to say:

Nice is cool.

Nice is fun.

Nice is easy.

Nice is good.

Nice is powerful.

Nice is nice!

For more inspiration, check out these kids being nice!

 How to Be Career Happy? Be Nice

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