My mentor used to tell me management is not a popularity contest, as sometimes we have to make tough, unpopular decisions, and we can’t please all the people all the time.
Whilst this is true, we can still treat people with dignity, respect and politeness.
We don’t need to go out of our way to be unpopular.
Some people, on becoming managers, take on an air of superiority; they look down upon their staff, and even their peers and only pay attention to those above them. Whilst this might make them popular with their bosses, it does nothing to help their relationship with their staff.
As manager and leaders we don’t actually do any of the hands on work, we rely on the efforts of our staff to be successful, so why wouldn’t we go out of our way to build the best relationship possible with them.
My grandma always used to tell me “you catch more flies with sugar than with vinegar” and this is advice I always kept close to my heart.
I mentioned this once to one of my peers who had a reputation for being very tough on his staff, and his reply was “maybe, but I am not interested in catching flies, I need to get results”.
Whilst management by fear may get some short-term results over the long term it’s never effective, and it’s usually not that effective at all.
Fear is not a motivator and very few people do their best work when they are afraid.
People need a safe, trusting environment in order to do their best work and as leaders it’s our responsibility to create that environment.
So as I said at the start of this article, it is nice to be important, but it’s more important for us to be nice.
When we are nice to people they will respect us more, they will be more engaged and will look to go the extra mile when needed, which as leaders is exactly what we want.
Being nice costs us nothing, it’s a simply a choice, and what does it say about us if we choose the alternative,