Chamber Chat – Are You Too Nice at Work?

January 02, 2022 | Written by: sanford-user

By Meg Moss, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director

Naughty or Nice? That’s what our children have been hearing over the holiday season. In hopes of receiving a visit from Santa Clause, we ask our kiddos about their behavior from the entire year. But what about adult behavior in the workplace? Is it possible to be too nice in the workplace? Can you be kind, and assertive at the same time?

Being polite and nice are qualities in the workplace, but being too polite or too compliant can quickly become a flaw. Agreeing with your co-workers 100% of the time will give them the feeling that you neither have personality nor strong values – you’ll seem passive.

According to a blog article on the Express Employment Professionals website, “one of the easiest traps to fall into for both new leaders and seasoned professionals is being too nice. While embracing kindness in relationships with employees and peers is a virtue, being overly nice can lead to taking on more work than you can handle and disregarding your own needs for work-life balance. Simply put, unassertiveness can cultivate burnout, resentment, and disengagement.”

Small business owners are especially susceptible to burnout because of the long hours they put in. Fifty plus hour work weeks are common, and so are the repercussions. In this day and age, business owners and employees frequently work all hours of the day, checking business emails and texts. This is because digital connectivity makes workers available all the time, leading to potential burnout. But we want to please our employers, right?

I encourage you to establish boundaries so that you do not become a push-over at work. According to the Express Employment article, “maintaining a healthy work-life balance is key to avoiding burnout in the office and ensuring longevity in your job. Establish boundaries as to when your team can contact you and when your phone and computer will be powered down”

It’s okay to say “not now”, or even “no” in order to maintain the quality of your work. Being nice by saying “yes” at all times can lead to faltering quality and job dissatisfaction. Being nice then becomes a fault that will harm to you, your organization, and possibly your personal life as you try to balance it all.

Another issue that overly nice professionals deal with is the feeling of being taken advantage of. Feel empowered to communicate your workload to co-workers and employees to manage expectations and avoid burnout.

James C. Price, blog writer, shares that “it’s important to create a culture of open communication and healthy assertiveness in the office with yourself, as well as your employees.”

As the saying goes, “it’s nice to be nice,” but that doesn’t mean you have to be a run over by others in the office. Let coworkers know your boundaries, say no when you need to, communicate your workload, and enjoy the opportunity to be nice, while still being assertive and having opinions. Add your name to the nice list…but not too nice.