January 26, 2021 8:00 am Published by

I’m from Minnesota. We are branded with the phrase “Minnesota nice.” 

The more I learn, the less that rings true for me.  

Nice gets in the way of things. Nice mutes messages, placates truths, and can be a form of manipulation or pandering for approval. One definition even refers to “nice” as an acronym for “nothing in me cares enough.”  

If you’re one of the people reading this thinking “why?” Why are you making nice a bad thing? Read on. 

When I work with leaders, a common challenge is to create a safe enough space to drop the pretense of nice and create space for healthy, direct conversations. Nice is always an impediment to healthy, cohesive, functional teams. It slows progress, and makes people work to hear the intended message. 

When you are kind, you care deeply enough to get to the point, assume positive intent and deliver a message for the betterment of everyone present. Less words, thoughtfully delivered will build bridges and move everyone forward. 

If you want to resolve issues, move quickly, and build trust, be kind and be direct. Don’t be nice.