by Laura Gibbons
Is there such a thing as being too nice to others? Can the desire to be nice to others actually hurt your reputation at work and ruin your chance of promotion? In short, yes, there is a such thing as being too nice to others at work. This may seem odd since nice people tend to get along with everyone in the office, are easy to work with, and stay clear of office drama. These are all positive traits that managers look for in employees however there are definite disadvantages to being too nice at work. It can be difficult to know when you’ve crossed the line from nice into too nice territory especially when you are a genuinely nice person. Here are 5 times that your too nice behavior may actually be harming your career.
1 – You avoid confrontation. Disagreements between team members, differences of opinion on how to proceed with a project, or basic miscommunication are common place in most offices. You have crossed into too nice territory when you shy away from these conflicts in hopes that the problems will go away on their own.
Why is this behavior harmful? Sometimes confrontation is a necessary part of working in a professional environment. By avoiding the confrontation, you actually slow progress and make it difficult for the group to move forward with an idea or project. In addition, someone that avoids confrontation at all costs is often viewed as weak or cowardly by their peers.
2 – You don’t express your opinion. People participating in too nice behavior often follow along with other people’s suggestions even when they don’t agree with or believe in the idea. They are afraid to stand up and voice their opinion to others.
Why is this behavior harmful? You may end up following someone right into a disastrous situation and you will always be viewed as a follower instead of a leader. Followers don’t get promotions, leaders do.
3 – You let others take advantage of you. People that are too nice at work often find themselves saying “yes” to helping out others even when they should really be saying “no.”
Why is this behavior harmful? You may find yourself working through lunch breaks or late into the evenings while the person that you were helping enjoys lunchtime with friends or leaves on time every day.
4 – You may appear boring. People that are too nice are often viewed as dull and uninteresting. They are too busy being respectful and nice to others that they forget to let their fun and unique personalities shine through.
Why is this behavior harmful? People that are considered dull don’t stand out in crowds. They are often forgotten about by their peers and managers. It can be especially difficult to get promoted or considered for new opportunities when the management team struggles to even remember your name.
5 – You don’t get credit for your work. People that are too nice often give credit to others while minimizing their own contributions. They are too busy making sure everyone else receives proper credit for their work that they forget to take credit themselves.
Why is this behavior harmful? By minimizing your role in a project or downplaying your successes, you are actually devaluing yourself in your company’s eyes and allowing your peers to gain from all of your hard work.
Do you think there is such a thing as being too nice at work? Comment below.
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About the Author:
Laura Gibbons is the founder of 9to5SurvivalGuide.com. Laura has survived 12+ years in the corporate retail environment. She has dealt with difficult co-workers, impossible bosses, and stressful work environments. She now shares her insights and expertise on career advancement and 9 to 5 survival through her website.