Why Being Nice At Work Might Be A Bad Thing


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It is common knowledge that in order to do well when you first start a new job, you are nice and polite to everyone you come across. As your work progresses, you respect your leaders and hold your colleagues’ skills in high regard. However, this could lead to information not being shared and ideas never leaving a creative brain. In order for new information and skills to be learned, people have to break the mould and say “actually, this way is better”. Here are some points to be made about why being nice at work might be a bad thing and how we overcome this phenomenon without resulting in hurt feelings and bruised egos.

Assuming Everyone Knows What You Do

One big mistake made in the workplace is assuming what you know, everyone knows. And vice versa. You could have incredibly useful information on a new competitor but not share it as you assume colleagues have this too. The boss may have told one person some information expecting it to be shared, and yet it never leaves that room. This can be so hindering to the process of the business. Sometimes you need to tell people what to do or shout your idea out at a meeting in order to make progress and change.


Loss Of Productivity

A very obvious symptom of everyone being nice is the chatting. Whether it’s an unintentionally extended coffee break or just a gossip over the desks, becoming ‘friends’ with colleagues will result in a decrease in productivity. Try to limit yourself in this respect, or wear earphones or headphones while you work in order to increase your focus on the task at hand. You can hear all the gossip at lunchtime.


Respect Must Be Redefined

Respect doesn’t have to mean that your job is part of some workplace utopia. Sometimes it should be listening to everyone’s ideas, contradicting them respectfully and bringing progress based on everyone’s input. It does not have to be “the manager said this, so that’s the way we do it”. Managers should respect if an assistant has a better idea than them, and assistants should not be afraid to suggest it. Being nice doesn’t have to mean listening to your colleague’s long story about her friend’s dog, it can be asking them to tell you at lunch because you have a deadline.

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