Article #63, November, 2007
Don’t Be So Nice!
Most women and a lot of men were brought up to be nice. We are taught by society not to show anger and often to subjugate our needs to everyone else's. On top of that, women often blame themselves when things are not right, and take things personally.
As a business owner, this behavior does not serve you, and in fact it limits you.
Here are a few truths to consider - perhaps as daily affirmations:
- When a prospect says 'no', they are saying no to the product, not to me
- When a customer speaks to me in anger, they are angry at the situation, not at me - they need my help
- When a vendor does not give me the service they promised, it is OK to be angry and I need to get reparations
- It is helpful to my employees to give them clear direction and hold them accountable
- It is not acceptable for clients to abuse me
- Asking for the sale does not make me pushy, it makes me a savvy business person
- It is OK to make money - I can do a lot of good with it
When clients or prospective clients are not interested in your product, or if they are unhappy, it is not because they don't like you. Women have a strong desire to be liked by everyone and it is just not necessary in order to succeed in business. You can be well-liked by everyone and your business fail miserably because you are consumed with trying to make sure everyone is happy instead of doing business.
If you allow your true personality to come through, a lot of people will like you, but not everyone, and that's OK. You don't have to 'do' anything specific - just be yourself and the right people will be attracted to doing business with you. Being respected is much more important in business - assuming you are in your business to make money. In fact, the more outgoing, independent and outrageous you are, the more you will be noticed and the more business opportunities will present themselves.
Many people do not have good conflict resolution skills. If you are able to remove yourself personally from a negative situation and resolve the problem, you will be a hero and highly respected. If, on the other hand, you become emotional (hurt, angry, explosive, withdrawn) you are not helping anyone!
Sometimes you will be cheated or otherwise taken advantage of. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who do not back up their claims. It is OK to be angry! It is also OK to express your anger. You can say, for example, "I am angry about this. You promised ABC and did not deliver it. Here is what I want you to do about it..."
If you have employees, then you are a boss - act like one! Your employees want to know what is expected of them. Some need more direction and management than others and they all need appreciation. However, not everyone will be the right employee for you, and if you have any problems, you need to handle them - soon. You may even need to fire someone, which does not feel nice, but if the employee is not doing well, you are not doing them any favors keeping them around, and you may be sabotaging your entire operation.
Strong boundaries in business are just as important as strong boundaries in your personal life. To be happy at work, be true to yourself. If you do not want clients calling you on your cell, don't put the number on your business card. If you don't want to work nights, then don't! If you are not true to yourself, you will resent your work and maybe even your clients.
You can be nice, but when being too nice damages your potential and your happiness, you need to reevaluate and make changes. Your happiness is just as important as others'!