Give Nice A Chance
Welcome to 2017. We made it. No matter where you stand politically, there’s no debate about one thing; we’ve all just lived through a campaign season where the dialogue reached never-before-seen levels of nasty. From that perspective, we’re just glad it’s over. I was reaching the end of my rope with all of this when a visit to a local retailer turned into a welcome reminder of the formidable power of “nice.”
In need of paper and toner, I visited my local Office Depot, where the employees are always helpful. But the young man who helped me on this particular morning took nice to a whole new level, making double and triple sure that I had exactly what I needed, and extending every possible courtesy (and discount). He served up a “wow” customer experience and a bit of a wake-up call. In business and in life, it pays to be nice.
Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, authors of an insightful little book titled “The Power Of Nice,” would agree. They relate story after story illustrating how kindness and courtesy, even the smallest gesture, has moved mountains in the business world, referring to “nice” as “the toughest four-letter word you’ll ever hear.”
The authors reference psychologist Daniel Goleman. Conducting research for his bestseller, “Primal Leadership,” Goleman found “a direct correlation between employee morale and the bottom line. Feeling good lubricates mental efficiency, making people better at understanding information.”
Of course, the best part is that being nice is just good for the soul and lifts the spirits of everyone in your circle. We’re sure to be faced with many challenges over the coming year. Let’s hope we can bring a degree of clarity and civility to the table, lightening the load with a little everyday kindness and positivity. As my favorite songwriter once sang, “wouldn’t it be nice.”