How To: Stop Playing Nice & Level Up Your Career
A recent post by Courtney Connley of Chief.com highlights the difficulty that many leaders - especially women and people of color - face with being “likable”, breeding a toxic culture of second-guessing, overcompensation, avoidances of tough conversations and hard questions simply by being “too nice”.
"Now, I'm not saying don't be nice and that you should be mean to people," says leadership consultant Kelly Parker. "But, there comes that time where you have to be courageous and you might have to go against the grain. That's what leadership is. It's sometimes standing in the gap and doing those hard things.
But, if you're caught up in being that toxic niceness, I think you'll get to a point where you're going to plateau in your career and in your leadership because the task demands a little more than that. And essentially, toxic niceness can put a ceiling on your own potential."
How do you “stop playing nice” and start to lead with strength?
Shedding the “good girl” persona can feel like a tough call when, for some of us, it’s been drummed into us since we were very small. But instead of thinking we must “be nice” it is more powerful to choose to be authentic.
How, you ask?
Start by speaking up when in meetings. Don’t just agree with what everyone else is saying, if you have a different opinion. It’s easy to do this with kindness while being strong - “I hear what you are saying, but what if we approach this from a slightly different angle” can do the trick. It also helps to get out of the habit of using weak words. This can be summed up as “don’t ‘think’; know.” When you’re certain of your facts, or can see clearly how a situation in the workplace will play out, it makes it easier to speak up and stand by your position.
Margaret Thatcher once said, "If you set out to be liked, you will accomplish nothing." Regardless of your political stance, Ms Thatcher knew a thing or two about getting things done.
BTW, being courageous applies not only in workplace and personal decisions, but also in the way we show up … in the way we dress. Our personal style speaks volumes about whether we desire to “fit in” or stand out; whether we lead or follow, and whether we are strong enough to make our own choices. For many women, taking the first steps in making courageous choices regarding their personal style helps them step up and lead in every area of their lives.
Do you dress to please others, and in a way that you think people “expect”? Do you settle for fitting in with those around you, or even dressing down in a misguided effort to not have others think you are too proud of yourself?
Here is an example of two completely acceptable ways to dress for work. But clearly you can see which one speaks volume and which one wants to just blend in.
Who do you want to be? The lady who blends in or one who stands out ?
AYSHA NY fashion brand was built to show women how they can stand out, send a message and create a memorable impression … all without having to say a word.
Don’t just take our word for it - book your StyleMe session either via zoom or in-person - click the button below to email and set up your time. Let us show you how you can stop playing nice and level up your career by utilizing your wardrobe and style.
“I feel bold and sophisticated in what I wear. All my clothes compliment my figure. When I get dressed for work I feel like a powerful lady.”
Donna B, Financial Services