Bland reminders of things everyone already knew.

The walls in my elementary school were adorned with faded posters boasting a range of cliches. Even at age 11, they seemed contrite–bland reminders of things everyone already knew–made more generic with the colorful images they always seemed to include.

Screen shot 2013-06-24 at 6.25.30 PMToday, a few things strike me as funny about this, not the least of which is that almost 20 years later, I still can recite them all from memory.

What’s more amusing is that while these beacons of positivity seemed mundane even in my youth, they’re still completely relevant. And if everyone abided by these kinds of principles we’d all be better off.

284338_333667760070127_782395157_nLately, I’ve been on a tear about the value of being nice in the workplace. To my own demise, I’ve been internalizing the impact of pettiness and poor attitudes that I typically shrug off without a second thought. It’s frustrating–but it’s just a phase–the summer blahs.

Nevertheless, it’s made me question how I evaluate working relationships. I’ve realized I’m far more accepting of a person who performs below my expectations if he or she demonstrates kindness and compassion.

Of course, the business world can’t always be a glorious, campfire sing-along. There are lots of occasions where a powerhouse attitude and harsh words seem to be all it takes to get things done.

It begs the question: are the career trajectories of people with nicer personalities encouraging or depressing?

Is there a tipping point at which EQ trumps IQ?

I’m hesitant to believe the world’s most influential leaders are the most kind-hearted among us, but the optimist in me believes that just being nice–playing fair and acting with respect–is the best (if not the fastest) path toward getting what you want. That and being wildly driven and intelligent…

There’s an enormous amount to be gained by embracing the golden rule and treating others the way we’d like to be treated. It’s rarely the easier route and it probably won’t increase profits, but at the end of the day, it also won’t keep you up at night.


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