5 tips to stay out of the nice guy/gal trap

The more amenable you are and the more you help others, the more they will like you. And the more they like you, the more they will buy from you. And being agreeable and saying, “Yes” is just polite and nice. Right?

Maybe not.

A paper co-authored by a University of Notre Dame professor shows that moderately disagreeable men earn an average of 18 percent, or $9,772, more than the average of moderately agreeable men.

Both groups of men, though, earn more than the average salary for women — regardless of their workplace disposition. And while women are still lagging behind men in pay, disagreeable women earned 5 percent, or $1,828, over their more pleasant peers.

Chicago Sun-Times.

So I guess the nice guy or girl really does finish last.

Things obviously aren’t as clear cut as that, but I meet a lot of business owners, entrepreneurs and leaders and, what is clear to me, is that a lot of nice people spend far too much time being nice and far too little being successful because they are too worried about upsetting people and saying, “No”.

Here are 5 tips to stay out of the nice guy/gal trap

1. Know what’s important to you and build your life and business around that.

Don’t try and be everything to everyone. You’ll fail. When you follow your own path some people will love you, some people will hate you and some people will be indifferent. So what?

One exercise that you will find incredibly powerful is to get a piece of paper and ask yourself what is important to you. Just write the answers down. When you have written everything you can, prioritise them. Your decisions on how you spend your time should be based on this.

It really is that simple. People who know what they want, what they really really want in their lives find it easier to be motivated and focused and in today’s busy world that’s important.

2. Set BIG goals that fire you up and get you motivated.

Once you know what is important to you, you need to further clarify this by setting goals for each area of importance. I visualise mine every day. The more time you spend thinking about these, the more powerful they will become for you.

Once you’ve done this, break these down into objectives and actions. Without a plan you’re doomed to fail. You need to know what you should be doing every day to be successful.

3. Work your plan.

Life is busy. The world is busy. Business is busy. The one thing I guarantee you is that you will get a multitude of interruptions.

Want to spend more time prospecting? You know you’re going to get distracted by colleagues, emails, managers, the coffee machine…! Want to get fit and healthy? You know that there will be many options this evening demanding your involvement rather than going to the gym.

I could carry on but it is simple and it is easy and it is obvious but… When people/things/events distract you, you’re going to get pushed off track unless you say “No”. You need to remember to say, “No” and it is always easier to do this when you have a clear plan that is attached to your dreams, your goals, and what you want in life.

4. Stop doing things just to show you’re a “nice” person.

This will not apply to everyone. Some of you will already be good at not being nice people. LoL. But, if you’re like me, you may well feel that helping others is important and you do stuff either because you are a nice person or because you would like to be seen as one!

I am not saying that you should be horrid but helping others before helping yourself is a sure-fire way to end up in a mess; think planes and safety warnings and putting oxygen masks on children… put yours on first.

There are no doubt many things that you do that add little to no value for your business, no value for your clients, no value for your prospects and no value for you. Make a decision to stop doing them and commit to it.

5. Manage relationships and expectations.

When you make changes, significant changes, others are going to notice. The world will notice. People like the status quo and both consciously and unconsciously they may well resist so you need to be prepared for it.

Work out how you are going to reposition yourself with people and what explanations you are going to give. Think about how you are going to reposition yourself in the future with new clients and staff so that you don’t fall into this trap again.

5.5. Be nice.

Seriously. Be nice. Be nice whilst you’re saying “No”. Be nice whilst you’re not being nice. Be nice whilst you don’t do the things that you used to do!

There’s no need to be rude now is there.

Gavin Ingham

Gavin is a speaker and author of “Motivate People” and “Objections! Objections! Objections!” Gavin has given over 1000 paid talks to over 100,000 delegates, spoken in nearly every county in England, all over Europe and in the US and Africa. With talks from small SMEs to the likes of Jaguar, UBS, The Royal Bank of Canada, Microsoft and Renault Trucks, he knows what it takes to motivate and inspire audiences to change and adapt to today’s competitive markets.

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