I just got off the phone with a friend who broke up with her boyfriend two months ago. Most shocking was that even though they both called it quits, he moved into another bedroom of their house because “he had nowhere else to go” and that even though she didn’t love him anymore “he was such a nice guy” that she didn’t have the heart to kick him out into the cold.
Of course, I immediately went into a Latin tirade as to how ridiculous that arrangement was and that the dude was not in a car seat but a grown man and that she was bestowing a level of pity and guilt that was totally undignified to all involved.
But, then I then realized a couple of things. I realized that she was going through a truly, excruciatingly difficult decision because he truly is a nice guy (albeit lazy and unambitious),but truly a nice guy. And the other thing I realized was that I, too, am guilty of similar situations in my personal life…and, as much as I’d like not to admit it, in my business life as well.
I can remember many times in my career as a manager, how stressful and emotional it was to realize that that really, really nice employee…who never missed a day…who was cheerful…and everyone really, really liked him, was a giant screw up making me work twice as hard and, for God’s sake, had to be fired!
For some odd reason, most of us early on in our careers find it difficult to reconcile the fact that niceness, perfect attendance, cookies and smiles are not necessarily synonymous with effective, efficient, dependable and productive performance.
We also struggle to recognize that intimidation, negativity, rudeness and arrogance from a highly intelligent, very efficient, effective problem-solving employee is not acceptable behavior.
But we are guilty of both.
Question: Who does it really hurt when you put up with both versions of “craziness?”
Answer: The others in the company who truly are professional, committed, effective, dependable and productive.
Keeping Mr. Nice or Ms. Nasty really sends a message to the rest of the staff that this is what management wants in its culture and that it is acceptable behavior.
These two types of employees are not worth the damage they do every single day. These two dysfunctional personality types are countermining what we as leaders in a company want to foster.
But so many organizations put up with them. Look around you…they lurk in your place of work.
Do yourself, and all that work piling up, a favor…move on. Give them an action plan to improve or if that doesn’t work, replace them.
You will never regret it.
Have a nice day.