I think we all know that one person who will go out their way to please others. They don’t want to raise conflict. They avoid disagreeing with colleagues because they want to be approved of, and they seem to constantly put others ahead of themselves.
Perhaps we might even be guilty of it ourselves at times? In my experience from coaching, this is a common theme with women. It can shine through in one, several, or all areas of our lives. And it can be a destructive habit when it plays a role in our careers and can hinder career growth.
There is definitely room in the workplace to kind. There is a difference between doing things for others in order to fit in or please, and in being kind. When you choose to be kind, there is an authenticity and genuine interest in the other person’s well-being. When we choose to please, there is not much authenticity. There is fear of not getting approval from others and not being liked.
Why should you not raise your concern in a meeting? Who says your idea is less worthy then someone else’s? We do not help anyone, least ourselves, if we behave in reaction to what we think others want.
If you ever tend to fall into a pleasing behavior, here are a few things you can think about in order to rise above it:
- Become aware of where you please people. When you notice that you do, stop and ask yourself: Am I being reactive or proactive?
- Behind the need to please others may be insecurities or a tendency that we do not trust ourselves. Remind yourself that when we act from that place, people can usually feel it.
- Although we think we know what the other person wants, we can never truly know. Remind yourself that it is very well that our idea that we need to act in a certain way is all in our head.
- Become proactive. Ask yourself: How can I choose to act instead of pleasing this person? How can I be kind? And most importantly, how can I contribute proactively to this situation?
Marianne Williamson says in a beautiful quote, ”Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? … Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.”
Take this to heart, and focus on how to shine. Pleasing others comes from a reactive state, because we tend to mirror what someone else needs. Instead, become proactive. Start focusing on what it is that you can provide to the situation.
It is when we contribute with our strengths and original ideas that we really provide value to the world. This world needs for you to speak up and speak your truth. Take ownership of your career growth by doing so today.
About The Author
Cecilia is a coach, startup consultant, and founder at consciouscareerist.com. She helps people transition from old jobs to new jobs, from a state of frustration to joyful productivity, and from employed to entrepreneur.