Nice is a four letter word. When someone tells me I’m nice, I’m doing something wrong. I’m not saying something that needs to be said. Or I’m being a door mat and getting walked on. I don’t want to be a nice guy. I’d rather be a good guy. Nice is not a saving grace. Good is.
People seen as highly disagreeable make nearly $10,000 more per year than those seen as highly agreeable.
Does that mean you need to become an ass to make more money? No.
It means you need to start adding value. It means you need to start opening your mouth. It means you need to offer solutions instead of sitting quietly by or identifying yet another problem. It means you need to maintain your convictions when they are challenged. And, if you don’t want to be the ass, it means you treat people with honor and respect while you do these things (This can be the biggest challenge).
People who do what they’re told can be outsourced for less. They add less value. People who produce ways to do things better add value. They make businesses stronger, more innovative and more profitable.
It’s easier to do what we’re told by others. There’s a lot less risk.
Less risk. Less reward.
It’s harder to tell others what to do. You’ve got to put your neck on the line. You might be wrong. You might fail. You might be the fool. You might be seen as a troublemaker. Or … you might succeed. You might be the wiser. You might be seen as a problem solver.
More risk. More reward.
18% more reward based on the study. That’s a nice raise for just telling people ways you think the problem can be solved.
You can be paid less for being nice and agreeable or get paid more for being good and persevering. Your employer or clients would rather pay you more. What value you are you willing to add so that they do?
Stop being nice. Start being good.
- Do Nice Guys Finish Last? (blogs.wsj.com)
- Flexing Your “No Thanks” Muscle (blogs.hbr.org)
- Taking a Risk Is Not Immoral (blogs.hbr.org)