Richard Maun – Always Play Nice

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Always Play Nice

15 September 2019

Did you have the same instructions as me at school, during English lessons?

Never use nice, or got, or just. They are evil, lazy words and should never be used, when are 1,000s of better words to choose from.

That’s not my view, I’m just paraphrasing the words I got from my English teacher. He wasn’t very nice, in my opinion.

Actually, he was about 8-feet tall and terrifying, when you’re a tiny 12 year old in a blazer that you will doubtless grow in to.

Teachers need to be careful with the word ‘should.’ It’s very parental in tone and can be very judgemental. We can choose to use, or replace, certain words, but who are they to say what we should do?

There’s a whole manufacturing ethos called Just In Time (we used to wittily relabel it as ‘Just Too Late’) and the words make complete sense to me. According to my teacher we should replace ‘just’ with something else, or remove it entirely. Just call it In Time maybe? Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

I’ve got to go!

Well I don’t, as it happens, but that’s a phrase we use. Naughty us! We should swap it for, hmm… ‘I’ve decided that I really must depart at this precise time!’ Does that sound any better?

As for nice. Well it’s an interesting word. Said with scorn it can denote something that’s a wafer below adequacy. Said with a beaming smile it can bring joy to other people. It’s a word capable of carrying nuance and as such, is jolly helpful. Nice is a nice word. It can feel warm and friendly.

Let’s hear it for nice!

Business works better when we are nice to people. As they say in entertainment circles: Be nice to people on the way up, as you’ll meet them again on the way down!

Would your colleagues say you were nice? Are you fair minded? Even handed? Consistent?

I hope so. If not, see me after class for some business coaching.

I’ve met some awful mangers on my professional journey. My first book is called My Boss is a B@$T@*D …check it out on Amazon… and is full of acid comments about inadequate leaders I’ve had the misfortune to work with. The book is there to champion the under-dog and enable us to plot a course to a happier life.

Stress affects everyone and a boss with a bad temper, who may be stressed out, simply adds to the woes of those around him. Or her.

I often say to clients; if this organisation was a school, would you want to send your children here?

That’s a good litmus test of whether people play nice.

So then, nice is a nice word and we are free to use it! And if we always play nice then the business world be a better place.

Playing nice doesn’t mean we have to give in to unreasonable demands, or sell our services below a rate acceptable to us. It just means we’ve got to be open to the fact that our behaviour has an impact on others.

Do you always play nice?

Next week: The Topless Boating Story


Click cover to view details on Amazon


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Published 2013 Marshall Cavendish



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© Richard Maun 2015 / Click here to contact