A few weeks ago I was standing in a book store looking for books in the business section. One woman approached the section and asked the clerk for a recommendation about a business book. He recommended her the book “The power of nice” which title in Hebrew roughly translates to: “It is worthwhile to be nice in business”. The woman looked at the clerk and asked him: “What kind of message will the person I give the book as a present get? I don’t think it is nice to bring someone a book that explains how to be nice“.
This story not only illustrates a bad translation of a book title (it happens a lot) but something deeper – I really tried, but I can’t understand why the hell does someone need to convince us that being nice is important?
I ran into this short 1-minute video clip today by Tim Sanders. Again, an explanation on why is it important to be nice in business.
“The young people coming into to market economy today view economic freedom by the ability to chose a boss that is not a jerk” the video says, trying to explain to us why being nice is important.
Is it me or is this crazy? Shouldn’t nice be the default? Is there anybody who can explain the process that led to the current condition in which nice is not the default?
I watched the video. I read “the power of nice”. They are both… well… nice. But obvious. It was very hard for me to point one concept in the book that did not seem trivial or that I really feel I learned from. I couldn’t find even one.
I wanted to explain in this post how obvious the concept of being nice is, by showing how important it is to be nice. But decided not to. It is too obvious. Maybe I am naïve. Still, I believe nice should be the default.