Is it possible to be “too nice”? Yes, it is. And it’s not because Wikipedia says so. Nearly everyone wants to be loved, appreciated, understood, and respected. We want people to enjoy working alongside us, not reject us. We want to be respected by others not for our assertiveness but for our empathetic kindness.
But what if our desire to be kind backfires on us? How can we know if we are being too kind?
What are the warning signs? What are the consequences? How can it be any worse?
If you are being too kind, you might be thinking about yourself.
Let’s get rid of a common myth.
Being nice is perfectly acceptable. If you consider the following “nice”, don’t stop being nice.
Paying attention to others
Respect for others
Listening to others
Consideration of the opinions and ideas others
Recognizing others’ accomplishments
Gifts for birthdays
We don’t really care about others when we act like a “nice guy”, but we do show smarmy “nice guy”. Instead, we care about how others perceive us, love us, respond to us and feel about us.
This is not being kind to others. This is being narcissistic. Being nice can be a manipulation attempt that eventually fails. How can we tell if we are being too nice? These are some signs that you should be aware of.
Sign #1: Let your employees take advantage of what you have to offer.
Too-nice managers can be perceived as weak, which is a common danger.
This weakness is easy to exploit. It may be obvious or hidden. Your employees might try to exert their authority on you and get your attention to their needs.
Sign #2: You won’t face violations of office policy.
Office policy is designed to promote harmony and professionalism in the workplace.
Sometimes it is okay to put policy aside for specific reasons. However, if you “let things slide” to be “nice”, you have probably gone too far.
True kindness will be repaid with great work output. However, ingratiating permissiveness won’t be repaid with respect.
Sign #3: You don’t enforce deadlines.
Deadlines keep projects on track. You risk losing clients, contracts, and revenue if you miss deadlines. This is too risky.
Although it may seem harsh or demanding to insist that your team members meet their deadlines is a prerequisite for good business.
It’s not necessary to be unreasonable about it. In your quest to meet a deadline, you should not disregard your personal life. If you are constantly violating deadlines because you want “to be nice”, you have probably gone too far.
Sign #4: You overlook poor work.
Your team will produce high-quality work if they adhere to established work standards. Respect your team members by insisting on high-quality work.
You’re teaching your team to set work standards and maintain them. This is how you show them that great work is a must-do. This approach is far more effective than letting sloppy work slide.
Sign #5: Allow meetings to degenerate in mindless chitchat.
When it comes to meetings, be ruthless and kind. Although coworkers love to chat, it can be a time-consuming waste of time to talk in meetings. It’s amazing, just think about it. If there are four, five, six or more people present for a meeting, each minute that is wasted is actually a collective four to five, six, or six minutes. Respect your team’s time and stick to a schedule.
Sign #6: You are a compliment-giver, but not a constructive feedbacker.
Everyone loves a compliment. It is important to compliment your team members.