There’s a good side and a bad side to being the office “Mr. or Ms. Nice Guy.”
Researchers at Northwestern University studied office workers – and found that those who were considered the most generous, and the kindest, were NOT considered leadership material. They were considered weak!
Only those with dominant, cutthroat personalities were considered “top dog” material.
So, why is being nice a power killer? Lead researcher Dr. Robert Livingston says it’s because people interpret kindness as a weakness.
On the flip side, we’re wired to respond to “my way or the highway” people as natural leaders, because they seem aggressive and ‘take charge’.
So where’s the good side to being the nice guy?
Well, studies show that we’d much rather work for, and with, nice people. But there has to be a balance. The key to rising up the ranks is being nice but firm, like “I’d be happy to take a look at your report after I finish what’s on my plate.” That way, you’re still viewed as approachable, without being a pushover.