Why You Can’t Be Successful if You Aren’t Kind

cinderella cate blanchett 2015 Filmline

In a world where people are constantly trying to be better, faster and stronger than everyone else, competition is always present, especially in the workplace. ‘Survival of the fittest’ is something that you have come to acknowledge as a fact of life and as such you have realised that you need to be just as ruthless, cruel and brutal as everyone else in order to be successful.

But, in reality, you don’t get to be a winner if you are being a heartless pig. Being rude just isn’t the way to go. That’s because other people have feelings, they get hurt, they get upset, disappointed and aren’t as insensitive about it. Learning how to manage these emotions and be nice, is much more important than you think in terms of career success.

In fact, this is where emotional intelligence comes in. The ability to understand yours and other peoples’ emotions is vital for success, and this has been proven countless of times in the past. According to Travis Bradberry, contributor to Forbes, emotional intelligence is something that you can work with to become better as “it affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results.”

At Work

Being emotionally intelligent helps you develop some good people skills which are essential in the workplace. It makes you more self-aware while paying attention to how other people react to specific situations as well as to things that you say or do. So, how rude your behaviour is, is pretty much reflected in the way other people choose to view you, and it helps them to decide whether they will like you or not.

In fact, according to research up to 98 percent of workers have experienced rudeness in the office, and 50 percent say they experience it weekly. This proves that rudeness is prevalent in the office even though it is not an appropriate work behavior. I mean it makes sense that if you don’t respect other people - be it your colleagues or employees - you won’t be respected either, and then you won’t be able to work productively as a team. Your colleagues won’t want to work with you, and your employees won’t be as motivated to do work.

So, is it really worth being ruthless? Why don’t you switch to being kind to people instead?

The only problem with being kind is that sometimes other people take advantage of that. But that only happens if you are being too nice to others which encourages people to think that you are weak, or a person who can’t be trusted.

In Business

There is a common belief that entrepreneurship is only suitable for those who would do just about anything to get what they want; they are emotionally strong and resilient. Apart from that, a common characteristic of entrepreneurs is arrogance, and this has been confirmed several times in the past through the legends of Silicon Valley. Successful entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Ev Williams and Jark Dorsey have all had done something that made them look bad.

For example, once Steve Jobs called everyone into a meeting only to call them ‘f---ing dickless a—holes’ while Mark Zuckerberg ousted his friend Eduardo Saverin from Facebook. Jeff Bezos sends his employees rude emails with just one character “?” and the Twitter co-founders have been back-stabbing each other for a long time now. Well, if that’s not terrible behaviour, then what is? Do you really have to be a huge jerk to become an entrepreneur?

Paul Graham, start-up founder and investor of Dropbox and Airbnb, says that it is difficult to say for sure whether these entrepreneurs are simply mean and as such it is not fair to judge them based on their outbreaks. For his own work, Graham chooses not to invest in jerks and thinks of trust and the willingness to help as essential qualities of successful entrepreneurs.

As Graham said, “the good people have the advantage over the jerks. Probably because to get really big, a company has to have a sense of mission, and the good people are more likely to have an authentic one, rather than just being motivated by money or power.”

What does this mean? It is always better to be nice as it’s the only way to do great business. To help you out, here are some tips that you can practice to bring out your ‘goodness’:

  • Let go of the need to compete with others.
  • Spend time with good, kind and honest people.
  • Be kind to yourself and others when mistakes are made.
  • Show that you have time for people.
  • Help others find what they need to succeed.
  • Feel grateful for what you have.

The truth is that whether you like it or not, you need people in your life. These people might be the ones who will stand by you through the rough times, or they could be the mentors that show you the way to success and teach you how real business works. So, I am asking you, how are you supposed to succeed if you are being rude to them? How are you going to let them help you if you can’t help them?

In order to succeed in life, you have to see human relationships as a two-way street. You can’t expect others to follow you – or trust you for that matter if you are just another cold-blooded businessman who only cares about money. People come first and will always come first even if your ambitions and goals seem to be above everyone else. Why? Well, quite simply these people are going to help you get there.

So what do you think? Do you really have to be the bad guy to be successful? Let me know in the comments section below…