Be Nice to the People Around You

Please note: I am leaving for Japan for a week today.  I have a full consulting and speaking schedule when I’m there, so I won’t be posting next week.  I’ll resume posting the week of October 8. 

Today is Friday, so this post is on interpersonal competence.

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal had an interesting article entitled Job References You Can’t Control.  The article pointed out that today many hiring managers do a web check of prospective employees.  They look for mutual connections on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn and call them to get the low down on applicants.  They check references that you haven’t provided.

In other words, today it’s easy for prospective employees to learn a lot about you before they even meet you.  That’s why interpersonal competence is more important today than ever.  Essentially, everyone with whom you have worked is now a potential reference for you – whether or not you provide them as references.

If you recall, interpersonally competent people share three things in common:

  1. They are self aware, and use this awareness to understand others.
  2. They build strong, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with the people in their lives.
  3. They are adept at resolving conflict in a positive manner.

If you master these three tips, you won’t have to worry about what people who a prospective employer might contact will have to say.  If you understand others, you can communicate with them in a positive manner.  If you build strong relationships, people will speak well of you.  If you resolve conflict positively, you won’t have a lot of people holding grudges against you.

In other words, if you’re a good guy – or gal – people will like you and will speak well of you.  When it comes down to it, there are always a number of qualified candidates for any given job.  The person who gets the job is usually the one who people feel good about.  People feel good about interpersonally competent people.  That means that interpersonally competent people don’t have to worry about others will say about them when asked for a reference.

Be a good guy.  People will like you better.  You’ll feel good about yourself.  And, you’ll get the jobs you want.  It’s only common sense.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website to subscribe to my monthly ezine and for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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