Why being too good at work can hold you back
“Just be yourself, everyone will like you” – common advice for those going to an interview or starting a new job.
But while this may seem obvious, the desire to be liked can detract from other things, such as gaining respect and making a contribution.
Research by SEEK shows that more than half (52%) of people said they were too nice at work and 50% believed they may have been overlooked for a promotion because they were too nice.
Many of us offer help to colleagues even when we don’t have time (47%), don’t hold colleagues accountable when they fail (46%), and take responsibility for other people’s mistakes (46%)—all for of being good.
Experts say that striving to be liked can negatively impact our careers and diminish how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves.
So how do we know if we’re too good at work and if it’s holding us back? And if so, what can we do about it?
How nice is too good?
The first thing to consider is what pleasurable means to you and how it makes you feel, explains SEEK resident psychologist Sabina Reid.
“Some people would interpret nice as strolling or boring, weak or invalid. But others who feel that their kindness is good may feel that it is a reflection of kindness and compassion.
“Think about whether that trait represents offense to you or pride and authenticity,” she says.
Jane Jackson, career coach and author of Navigating Career Crossroads, says that if you’re talkative by nature and don’t feel pushy, that’s fine. But if at any stage you feel taken advantage of, there’s a chance you’re too nice.
“It’s when you’re afraid to speak in a meeting because you might rock the boat, when you don’t want to go against conventional wisdom, or when you take on a job when you don’t have time,” she says.
“It’s when you allow people to put their wants and needs before yours.”
As Jackson explains, being liked doesn’t mean automatic respect, and that’s especially true of executives.
“There’s a fine line to walk between being approachable and pleasant, and someone who knows how to communicate, take responsibility and make decisions.”
Reid says that while the desire to be liked is related to a person’s need for validation, it can also cause us to lose sight of our role or experience in the workplace.
“Nobody’s job description says ‘be nice,'” she says. “We lost our way when being likable became our prime mover.” Read the full article at Seek
Get the help you need to succeed in your career at Career success program in www.janejacksoncoach.com/academy