Career Success and Being Nice

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the USA.  I always think of Thanksgiving as the kick off to the holiday season — a time of peace and goodwill.  Every year at this time, I always think of an article in Colorado Business Magazine written by then publisher Pat Wiesner.  It was called,  “The Biggest Management Sin of All: How to Lose Your Job or at least Deserve to Lose It.”

According to Pat the biggest sin is demeaning people.  In that article, Pat said, “My belief is that if we get caught shouting at people, demeaning them in any way, they should be fired. On the spot.”

I agree. And this holds for everyone – not just people in leadership and management positions. Raising your voice and demeaning people is not only poor leadership, it is inappropriate behavior.  If you want to create the life and career success you deserve, you need to become interpersonally competent.  Treat all people with the dignity and respect they deserve as human beings.

Belittling, intimidating, or otherwise demeaning people is not only nasty, it is destructive to their self esteem and self confidence. Pat says, “Once you have made someone feel really negative about himself, how long would it take to reverse that feeling?  Pretty tough to do.” This is great career advice.  You should help others build their self confidence, not destroy it.

Interpersonally incompetent people often seem to feel that the best way to feel good about themselves is to make others feel bad about themselves. That’s why they often engage in demeaning and bullying behavior.

This is simply not true. The title of the very first self-help book I ever read – published by Thomas Harris in 1969, I’m OK, You’re OK – says it best. Interpersonally competent people come from an “I’m OK, You’re OK” place. Bullies and demeaning people come from an “I’m OK, You’re Not OK” place.

Interpersonally competent people realize that we’re all OK. Other people may look at the world differently from you, but that doesn’t make them worse than you, it only makes them different. My career advice here it to work hard to meet people where they are and to build strong relationships with all of the people in your life.

Treat people with kindness and respect, and not just during this holiday season. Help them enhance their feelings of self esteem. Do what you can to build their self confidence. If you do, you’ll be known as an interpersonally competent person – and someone who is a life and career success.

Interpersonal competence will help you create rich relationships that last a lifetime.  In The Little Black Book of Connections, Jeffrey Gitomer offers the best piece of common sense advice I’ve ever seen when it comes to relationships:

“Everyone wants to be rich. Although most people think being rich is about having money, rich is a description for everything but money. Rich relationships lead to much more than money. They lead to success, fulfillment and wealth.”

The career success coach point here is simple common sense.  Build your career success by becoming interpersonally competent.  Understand yourself.  Think about what makes you tick.  When you are working with someone else, think about what makes him or her tick.  If he or she is different from you, decide what you need to do to be better able to communicate with him or her.  Second, do things for other people – and don’t keep score.  Good things will come your way, often from unexpected sources.  Build relationships by being willing to do for others whether or not they are willing to do for you.  Finally, when you are in conflict, look for where you agree with the other person.  Use these small places of agreements to build a mutually acceptable resolution to your conflict.

That’s my career advice on how to create your life and career success by treating other people with dignity and respect – not just this holiday season, but every day of the year.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success.  I value you and I appreciate you.  Happy Thanksgiving.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, please download a free copy of my popular career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained.  The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less.  The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: I opened a membership site on September 1.  It’s called My Corporate Climb and is devoted to helping people create career success inside large corporations. You can find out about the membership site by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.

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