It’s interesting how many people interpret being nice as also being a ‘pushover’ and one who will accept anything. Judgment misses the fact that being nice can be the quiet style of leadership that motivates others to improved performance.
The qualifiers I use for being ‘nice’ include:
- Engaged listening and questioning to learn more
- Treating everyone as equals
- Performing with integrity.
But there are times when none of the above works although you do your best to help improve performance.
At times, the quiet leader may see guidance is in order. As an entrepreneur, I had to move from just the sales mentality over to blending in the disciplines of marketing, social media and public relations. Likewise, John saw an opportunity to move from his traditional niche to hosting an event. He diligently hired a company to do his marketing which was a smart move. However, questions quickly arose as a traditional email campaign came my way.
To my dismay, the buttons for sharing the event news on social media were missing. I suggested to John that he make the buttons available. The marketing company agreed to add the symbolic buttons for sharing. But, I was shocked to see that the added links directed readers to the marketing company’s newsletter subscription page instead. Promotion of the event was bypassed entirely. I suggested that John investigate the matter, but nothing was done to change the links.
Valuable time for publicly sharing the event was lost over many months.
Then one day a new style newsletter arrived with appropriate share buttons. Happily, I clicked on the first link attached to Twitter. Sadly, two blatant errors were in the making. The automated message eliminated any call to action. Instead, the message stated, “I’m going to this event.”
My reaction is, “so what and who cares?” Even worse, the link was about 100 character spaces long. A shorter link enables a more meaningful message. Once again, I attempted to guide John. As a friend, I messaged him in a ‘nice and friendly tone’ to let him know the latest issue with the share buttons. I stepped up a second time because I want to see him and his event succeed. I took it upon myself to shorten the link with the use of bit.ly and sent it to John.
The worst scenario is that the marketing companies did not have the event’s best interest in mind only to provide a poor service. The question of ‘greed’ along with the phrase, ‘take the money and run’ comes to mind. No one can dispute that a better-versed marketing company should have been employed for the event.
Occurrences like these are great reminders as to why we each need to stay on top of the services for which we hire out. And before we enter into any agreement, it’s wise to become familiar with the better strategies upfront so that we may recognize the more adept companies to employ.
The saga is a good reminder that we can all use friendly tips now and then!
No doubt, you have seen errors in your work experience. Many people become too timid to speak up for fear of being bullied or even fired. Entrepreneurs sometimes concern themselves with what the person and potentially others will think if they provide an opinion that will not be well-received.
Where do you see yourself when a need arises to speak up:
- Do you shy away from expressing your opinion?
- Do you reveal the problem but offer no solution?
- Are you able to mentor and guide others to improved performance?
Rules for Stepping Up
- First and foremost, ‘be nice’ by using diplomacy.
- Explain the problem and then offer one or more possible solutions.
- Never talk down to others but guide others to improved understanding.
Factually presenting your viewpoint with the bigger vision held for all parties, most often it will be accepted. And this is where the sales mindset meets the nice approach to business; the ability to adapt to either ‘no’ or ‘yes’ is essential.
Stepping up includes working for the noble purpose of being helpful. As long as you believe 100% that your opinion or insight is of help, and works for the greater good, then it does not matter whether it is rejected or accepted. You did your best by being the thoughtful leader.
- Do not allow anything to slide that does not appear right.
- Question activities that are on your mind.
- Ask why troubling procedures are in place to gain full understanding.
- Offer ideas to correct the course of action that bothers you.
- Attempt to mentor and guide in a friendly tone as needed.
- As you give help, ask for feedback to further improve your style.
- Share the insights you believe to be helpful.
- Follow those who help you and share their insights.
- Use online platforms as a collaborative tool so that more people learn and grow.
- Celebrate Success!
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