Being Nice is Free

June 12th, 2013

Being the opposite can cost you.

Both of these statements are obvious. Yet human nature sometimes makes us forget:

– To be patient

– To be understanding

– To be kind and compassionate

I’m as guilty of this as anyone – sometimes more than I’m comfortable with. At 11pm on the phone with a tech support guy who seems to not really know how to do <that thing he said would be really simple and now is taking forever>, it’s challenging to be sweetness and light.

It can also be easy to forget who it’s MOST important to be nice to (the people it’s easiest to forget to be nice to, aka the chronically under-appreciated…and underestimated):

– Administrative assistants

– Reps at contractor management companies (to whom large companies outsource hiring/paying contractors like me)

– Any other gatekeeper or person who can block you from achieving your goals

Here’s an example.

Today I learned that the clients I work with at Big Company X now have a new project manager at Contractor Management Company Y. So I wrote a brief letter of introduction:

Hi [Mary],

Just wanted to say hello and nice to meet you virtually. [Client So-and-So] spoke highly of you.

Thanks so much in advance for all your help and guidance. I look forward to working with you. Have a great day. 



Here’s [Mary’s] reply:

Hi Deb,

Thank you very much! It is very nice to meet you as well.

If you have any questions or need anything, feel free to reach out anytime.

Best Regards,

[Mary Jones]

Being nice isn’t just free.

Now, I don’t know whether my reaching out to [Mary] will make any difference, but it was a nice thing to do, seemed to brighten her day just a bit AND it could result in getting paid faster. (Never, ever mistreat anyone standing between you and a payment.)

It also gave me a little bit of warm fuzzies.

So go on. Be extra nice and see what happens.

And if you can be nice when you’re stressed out and brain dead at 11pm and on the phone with tech support, please drop me a line and let me know how you did it.






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