It pays to be kind in business: Relationship building

By Dave McGurgan | @dmcgurgan

Relationship building: It pays to be kind at work

Relationship building: Every office and workspace needs it. Photo courtesy of f_mafra(CC ShareALike)

What I’ve found is that whether you’re with family, with work colleagues or interacting with a waiter, someone you have just met or dealing with a customer representative on the phone, you should be nice to them. What you get in return is rather remarkable.

My grandmother, who would introduce me to every neighbor she knew and that we saw during our frequent walks, taught me this: Be kind.

Research from the Human Cooperation Lab at Yale has validated that being nice at work “creates bonds among people and makes them not want to cut each other down.”

The research, conducted by David Rand, seems to suggest, “you should be nice even if you don’t trust the other person. In fact, you should keep on being nice even if the other person screws you over.”

That’s not a hard leap for me to make. In fact, I believe this is the way to respond to adversity in the workplace. Building a strong business relationship is worth the time. Conflicts can often be minimized or avoided when you’ve invested in relationship building.

That’s why whenever I had dispute with my grandmother present and I would get snarky or mean-spirited, she would ask, “Is that kind?”

My grandmother had a point. And the research validates what she taught me: It pays to be nice.