- People who are nice are those who score high on the agreeableness personality trait. They are generous, considerate of others and pleasant. Such people benefit from good personal and work relationships. They are more likely to get a job--and to keep it.
- Being exceedingly agreeable does have drawbacks, however. Nice people tend to earn less than their more demanding colleagues and to get passed over for promotions
- Nice people should pay attention to their posture when they find themselves in leadership positions or in situations in which they need to exert authority over other people.
When I was growing up, my mother used to say, “It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.” Yet popular wisdom also tells us that “nice guys finish last” and that “nice girls don't get the corner office.” Like most sayings, these last two contain a grain of truth, but they overstate the challenges and overlook the considerable benefits of being nice.
Psychologists define nice people as those scoring high on a personality trait called agreeableness. This trait often goes along with generosity, consideration for others, a pleasant disposition and a strong desire for social harmony. If you are nice, your overriding concern is to maintain positive relationships with others. You feel happiest when those around you are in harmony, and you go out of your way to smooth ruffled feathers. One way of measuring niceness is to ask people how much they agree with statements such as “I take time out for others” and “I sympathize with others' feelings.”