Want to get ahead? Be nice!

by Ryan Streeter on October 21, 2016. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

Loved Arthur Brooks’ WSJ column yesterday. If you’re a college graduate trying to get an edge in a daunting job market, you don’t often get advice like this: “Be pleasant and friendly.”

In one 2015 study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, a team of scholars from France and the U.S. looked at the impact of civility and warmth to colleagues on perceived leadership and job performance. In addition to being seen as natural leaders by co-workers, nice employees performed significantly better than others in performance reviews by senior supervisors. For those who make it to leadership, niceness is also a key to success. A 2015 NBC poll found that most people would take a nicer boss over a 10% pay increase.

Arthur goes on to show that niceness makes us more attractive to others (and nastiness makes us uglier to others) and makes us personally happier than when we are not nice. So try being nicer today and see how it goes!