Doing business nice? Is that really possible if you want to be successful? After all, it’s a doggy dog world out there. Nice people never finish first… or do they? Don’t you have to be a little mean to have that corner office? Well, not according to Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval; co authors of The Power of Nice. Linda is CEO of the extremely successful ad agency, the Kaplan Thaler Group, who created the concept of the Aflac Duck. Did I mention that she is really nice?
Jayne and I had the pleasure of attending the We Celebrate awards for Women in Business last week and got to meet lots of really interesting entrepreneurs and women business owners. The highlight of the networking event was listening to Linda, the keynote speaker, talking about being nice. Jayne and I have always believed that you can be nice and also succeed in business, in fact we just naturally have always strived to be nice to everyone we do business with. We just never had a book to back up our school of thought! How refreshing it is to hear that it is now “in” to be nice.
Of course when it comes to our customers, we always try to be nice. If our customer is happy, we’re happy. In fact, we truly like our customer. Generally, she is alot like us – she loves to decorate, needs to get organized, and wants to shop in style. We’ve also found that when our customer is happy, she likes to share that with her friends. Which is a good thing!
But what about other people? Being nice doesn’t mean being a doormat, it really just means giving all people the respect and courtesy that you would like to receive. It’s just as hard (if not harder) to frown at the cashier as it is to smile. The best thing about smiling is that such a simple little thing can brighten someone’s day. And when it comes to people and vendors that we work with, why shouldn’t we be nice to them? In fact, when push comes to shove and deadlines loom – I’m thinking they might be more apt to pull some strings – because I have been nice. And if they don’t…well, we’ll kindly take our business elsewhere
We never have bought into the mean tough guy approach and I for one am very happy to be reading The Power of Nice to confirm what we have have believed all along.
Making a case that “nice is very powerful,” Koval says, “We all have to network with each other. We all work in teams. Unless you’re a chemist in a lab bent over a test tube, nobody works alone. The old command-and-control way of doing business is clearly over.” She adds, “Meanness is so last millennium. Niceness is the future.” Isn’t that nice!