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Pitfalls of the “nice” workplace

I work in a very nice place with very nice people. The kind and courteous atmosphere is one of the biggest perks of my job. And this is only one of several nice places in which I’ve worked ove rthe course of my career. Call it good fortune or eerie coincidence, but I can honestly say that I’ve never worked in a place where I wouldn’t describe my co-workers as “nice.”

But therein lies a problem. A first world problem surely, but a problem nonetheless. The problem of being too nice. You know that saying about how you can please some of the people some of the time, but you can never please all the people all the time? Well, I have been in more than one work situation in which the parties involved try much too hard to please all of the people all of the time. Niceness often trumps sensibility (and to a certain degree, backbone), and it can make for some rather silly and frustrating scenarios that sometimes play out rather passive-aggressively.  We all have to take the good with the bad in life, but that doesn’t mean plain old common sense should be cast aside to save face. Because let’s face it, there’s nice, and then there’s stupid. Here are a few examples of what I mean.

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