Maven at work: The importance of being nice

Good morning, party peeps. I'm working from home today with a sick dog (on the mend thanks to his amazing docs at One Love in BK)- he has a bad tummy which I thought was much worse, but seems to be feeling all the anxiety with the move and probably should not have changed up his treats. Live and learn. Glad he is feeling better. I hate when he gets sick. Ugh. Poor little guy

From time to time I like to talk about work, because it's important to me and if there is any way I can be a mentor for people, I love the opportunity to share what I know. And here's what- you better be nice. And not just nice- flexible and nice. Because if you're not, you're going to wonder why your career suddenly sounds like crickets.

There are exceptions of course. I can name many creative people- photographers, big time creative directors, artists- that are, well, difficult. I can tolerate difficult when difficult is for good. I can't tolerate it when it's toxic, demeaning, or straight up nasty. And if you're going to be a big personality, that's fine. But please know that we live in a world now that is challenging beyond comprehension. I can only speak from my vantage point in advertising, but I will tell you this- it has never been harder to do what we do. Clients are tough and demanding. Budgets are tough and demanding. Timelines are beyond tough and demanding. So how do we manage to make great work and not fall apart? By working with people that really get it. And by getting it, I mean sticking up for making the best work possible, but also being nice about how you do it. 

Listen I know this is a bit of a touchy subject, particularly for women in the workplace. We are dinged for being too strident, too intense, too "bitchy". And for many of you who know me, I'm not exactly a meek woman. I'm a strong personality as well but I truly believe in being nice- approaching tough situations with as much grace and compassion as possible while still making my recommendations and vision clear. Do I not have moments where I'm a bit of a nasty woman? Yes. I do. But nasty women still need to be cool with being nice. In a world where innocent children are dying from chemical weapons and a lunatic is running the American asylum, it behooves all of us to try a little bit harder to be nice in the face of so much craziness. I shouldn't have to think being nice is a weakness. Because it just isn't. Yes and yes there are moments that require some muscle but overall, keep it nice and nice things will happen.

Advertising, as you know, is not life or death. I guarantee you that being nice and respectful does not in any way make you seem like a wimp. It, in fact, makes people want to work with you. And I hate that women get dinged for being tough way, way more than men- but I'm going gender agnostic here and calling for kindness. We are all here just trying to get it all done in very challenging times. People will always respect your passion and point of view, but tempering that with good vibes can't hurt you. I don't want to work with people who aren't nice, and that's the truth. As I mentioned, I think women often feel the need to be tough as nails- I'm indeed tough as nails, but I do try and handle the daily stress of doing business in a kind manner. Do unto others and such. I know the word "nice" feels a bit soft, but it's way better than being a jerk. Trust me.

I remember a time in my career when kicking and screaming was not only tolerated, but applauded. The tougher you were on people, the better results you got from them. I'm not sure that's true anymore. Because the ability to stick, move, and flex has never been more crucial. So I believe in the power of nice- regardless of my gender or crazy deadline. Can't we all just get along? I feel lucky to do what I do and want others to enjoy working with me. And even though this particular vendor was on brand for the gig, their attitude was anything but. Be flexible, be considerate, and most of all, be nice.  Be strong and passionate and sincere. But sweet Lord, be nice. It's just to hard otherwise.

Cause that's what's up this work wisdom of a Wednesday in the 718. Yours, in trying a little tenderness. XO