October 16, 2007

Book Review - The Power of Nice

The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness
Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval
HD 57.7 .K367 2006

Thaler and Koval's book revolves around a simple principle: People should be nice because it is the right thing to do and it makes people feel good. Because of that humanity, they argue, it is also good for business. Filled with anecdotes, this book describes simple ways that being kind, polite and friendly can win business contracts and friends for life. The authors recount how simple things like welcoming greetings, assisting weary travelers with their luggage, or passing along a compliment can reap rewards far greater than their cost. At the same time, they point out that these same small gestures, when ignored or misunderstood, can poison relationships and stand in the way of contracts in spite of otherwise outstanding presentations. They convey three important characteristics of "nice" that are required for this to be effective--be truthful, be positive, and be genuine. Without these traits, being nice seems not to be a personality trait, but rather an act.