Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Being Pleasant

I'm not sure if being pleasant gets frequent mention in the career advancement forums. It should. You can be brilliant and efficient but if you aren't reasonably pleasant you'll be surprised at how many enemies you'll generate.

This doesn't mean that you have to be a wimp or devoid of a temper. It means that people should find you to be easy to work with and that if you have to get tough, you don't also get mean. A man who was a political operative in Washington, D.C. once told me about his personal encounters with a famous politician who was noted for not only plunging a knife in a few adversaries but twisting it as well. In an environment where people joke that a friend is someone who stabs you in the front, that twisting part was a particular insult.

Unpleasantness can also reveal an unattractive side to one's judgment. The person who crosses a street to get into a fight or utters gratuitous sarcastic remarks may not be the wisest head in the room.

The word gets around and often makes its way to promotion boards and high decision makers.

Revenge may be exacted years later. Some old wounds never heal.

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