When we think of powerful business people, we often think of Gordon Ghekko types, people like Jordan Belfort who made being ‘badass’ in business an art form. But why is this? Why don’t Richard Branson or Mark Bouris come to mind?
It is because they are nice? Some might even say they’re too nice. Yet Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has become a billionaire based on the idea that “engaging people in a positive way means that they will be encouraged to work for you and do better”.
Although pop culture might have you believe otherwise, being nice in business is key to being successful. Here are four reasons why nice will help you make more money.
Business is all about cultivating relationships. Having strong business relationships not only allows you to garner repeat business, but also creates referrals and networking opportunities. Remember it isn’t always about what’s in it for me, but how you can help others. This ideology can assist in creating lifelong connections and increasing your reputation as a good person to do business with.
When dealing with clients it is impossible to maintain strong relationships if you are unable to discern how they are feeling. Similar notions are also seen when dealing with staff. The ability to negotiate staffing issues in a professional and respectful manner is integral to remaining nice in business.
Subsequently, having highly developed emotional intelligence allows you to have increased skills in navigating the waters of office politics and ultimately be well liked by fellow staff. Having fellow staff and managers want to work with you is integral to being promoted, which usually leads to a pay rise too.
Employees are human beings and have wants and needs both at work and outside of it. Having the capacity to be dynamic and understand their needs is an important part of being a manager.
There is a perception in the business world that being nice makes you a pushover. This is far from true. Being a good leader is all about setting expectations and goals, maintaining your cool and remaining a “nice” person. The key to this is your mindset and delivery in discussions.
All leaders have to be stern but this doesn’t require you to be mean. Encouragement and motivation will result in people working harder for you as they believe in the company ethos you set. Creating a positive work culture is imperative to growing a business, because without the right staff no business can succeed.
This works when doing business at any level. Whether you are interacting with colleagues, superiors or clients, don’t forget to say thank you. Everyone likes to be appreciated and recognised.