Can Managers Be Too Nice

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Can Managers Be Too Nice?
Chris McDaniel
OB
11/8/12

According to Dictionary.com, nice is an adjective and is defined as pleasing, agreeable, delightful, amiably, or pleasant. Now for a person to be too nice they have to go beyond what the definition states or due too much of what the definition states. One of my all-time favorite quotes is by Leo Durocher that, “Nice guys finish last.” and I’m still waiting for the day to prove that quote wrong. Well we can use that in business and say nice managers finish last. According to a study conducted by the University of Denver over a 20 year period, managers can finish last, not be promoted, or be taken as an ineffective leader for being too nice (“Nice Managers Finish Last”).

There are many reasons why someone is too nice. It could be their nature to be nice to everyone, it could be their culture in the work place, or it could be the type of situation that they are in when facing a conflict. A person who is too nice to everyone will have a hard time of being taken seriously. If your culture at work is too nice there could be some conflict that will come up. Usually managers, from shift to CEOs, try to avoid any conflict in the work force. When faced with a constructive conflict in the work force, managers can follow three suggestions that could help move the company to be more effective in constructive conflict. These suggestions are 1) reflect, look at yourself and try to get your readiness ready for conflict, 2) get feedback, talk to friends, family, and co-workers about their perception of your willingness to engage in conflict, and 3) correct the problem, gradually, practice getting the solution correct and have different ways of solving the conflict so you are ready for any type of conflict (Ashkenas).

Now there are down sides to being a too nice manager. A couple of them are not getting promoted and not getting paid as much as the other managers, which were mentioned earlier. Russ Edelman,...
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