It’s not complicated. It’s not impossible. But it is an inside job.
Being “nice” is a lost art among many. Too many believe this is an outdated, unnecessary, and useless way to live.
“But you’re not always ‘nice’ with what you write and talk shiFt™ about here Tom.”
This is true. And the reason is that my work here is directed at those who are chronically not nice, and therefore causing others pain. They deserve to be handled differently. I’m being deliberately direct with them (i.e. not-so-nice), in the hopes of 1) raising their awareness, and 2) provoking behavior change that encourages improved communication skills, and basic common courtesy that’s often lacking.
As I point out in my talk shift manifesto, “… I’m not seeking consensus within this work. I’m seeking those who embrace critical thinking. I’m seeking those who aren’t afraid to honestly and fearlessly question themselves, and the world around them in order to improve. I’m seeking those willing and able to grow personally. Personal growth inevitably fosters professional growth.”
What about the old “nice guys finish last” adage?
Nice guys finish last only when they don’t know how to “finish.” By finishing I mean having the bigger-picture viewpoint to know when, what, and how to make the necessary moves to put themselves into advantageous positions.
“Proximity is power. Put yourself in position to make things happen.” ~ Robin Roberts
You don’t have to be hard-nosed to get ahead. Yes, there’s a time and place to stand firm and take a position, but this doesn’t have to be delivered ruthlessly or irresponsibly. I’ll go so far as to say being ruthless is useless. There’s simply no cause for it. There’s always a better alternative to accomplish the same thing. Being nice feels better than not. And every human being wants to feel better about themselves and their world. This is the opposite of fear that plagues so many.
So, at the end of the day nice wins. Always has, always will.
Agree or disagree; just no apathy.