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The problem with bring over-friendly

"Horrible bosses" may be the stuff of legend, but in my work I tend to find an awful lot of leaders and managers struggle with being too nice.


A good problem to have, no? Not when the impact of over-friendliness, even when driven by the best of motives, leaves those you lead feeling irritated or even insulted.


Philosopher Alain de Botton beautifully captures three errors made by the 'over-friendly' and three important things for them to keep closely in mind in this short video from The School of Life.


Errors made by the 'over-friendly':

  1. People must agree on everything

  2. Praise is ill-targeted or inaccurate

  3. Their friendliness is remorselessly upbeat


Instead, a 'properly pleasing' person remembers:

  1. That disagreement isn't necessarily or always terrible

  2. That people only want to be complimented on things that they are actively proud of

  3. That we are cheered up by people who appear to understand us, not so much by people who say cheery things



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