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The Power of Being Nice

This post originally appeared in our Startup Growth Newsletter.

This week I learned that one of our amazing longtime freelancers is changing careers and winding down her work with York IE. While I was disappointed, I am super happy for her as she takes this next step in her career.

Before she left, I wanted to make sure she knew the important role she played in accelerating the trajectory of York IE. So we did a Zoom call. She said she really enjoyed working with us. And then she said something that really stuck with me.

To paraphrase, she said:  As a freelancer, a lot of my relationships with clients are very professional but transactional. But you and Kate were just… just really nice. You treated me like a human being.

It was so simple, yet it was the best compliment I could have received. It is also a great reminder that no matter how fast the pace or how high the stakes, there is always time to be nice. Being nice doesn’t mean being a pushover or not fighting for what you believe in. It means treating people with the respect they deserve, regardless of the situation.

Being nice doesn’t mean you will close every deal. Being nice doesn’t mean a longtime colleague won’t leave for a new career. But being nice means you’ve never lost perspective. Being nice means people will be rooting for your success because you’re rooting for them.

So, in a sense, being nice means you’ve already won. You’re just waiting for the scoreboard to catch up. Which it will eventually.

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