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In Business Nice Guys and Women Really Do Finish Last

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posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 12:58 PM
Nice guys really do finish last in the world of business. At least that's what a new study has found.

Men get ahead for being 'disagreeable' in the workplace; women don't

In contemporary psychology, “agreeableness” is one of the “Big Five” dimensions of personality used to describe human personality. It generally refers to someone who is warm, sympathetic, kind and cooperative (in short, a “nice” person), and is the most valued characteristic cited when people are asked to identify with whom they want to spend time. But in terms of predicting workplace success, “agreeableness” doesn’t carry the same cachet, says Judge. “We studied four large data sets,” he says. “And in all four we found there is a penalty for being agreeable in the workplace. But, while men earn a premium for being disagreeable, women don’t.”

So the guy that everyone likes, the nice will likely not be the one getting the raise or promotion. While the office jerk is well on his way to the corner office?

If the study is accurate it is even worse for women. For men being disagreeable is often seen as being a "tough negotiator", for women its often seen as being the "b word". Sadly it appears that women have it worse than nice guys and in a bit of a no-win situation.

“If you’re a disagreeable man, you’re considered a tough negotiator,” he says. "But, the perception is that if a woman is agreeable, she gets taken advantage of, and if she is disagreeable, she’s considered a control freak or ‘the B-word.’ “Think about Martha Stewart and Donald Trump,” Judge says. “They’re both tough people and, yet, I think Martha Stewart has gotten much more negative press and taken more grief because she’s a disagreeable woman.”

Honestly, its got me thinking. I'm thought of a nice guy at work. A guy people like to work with. In short, the kind of guy that finishes last according to this. I've got a meeting coming up later today. Maybe I should just tell them all to kiss my green bottom when they ask me to do something.

It is disheartening to find out that one reasons jerks get promoted is because...well..they are jerks.

Here is a link to the PDF of the actual study for those interested...

Agreeableness, Sex and Income Study - PDF

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 01:46 PM
I've found that the most successful people in the workplace are those who both know what they're talking about, and are easy to get along with. I'm a very laid back person, but also resolute in my words and my actions, and will not let myself be dominated by anyone. And I'd done very well for myself so far, especially being female in a male dominated field (geoscience).

In my experience, the unpleasant people fall behind as no-one else wants to work with them on collaborative projects. They may do well where working directly in a team isn't so important, but certainly not in the field of an applied science.

I know that the study would be referring to people in a corporate environment, but there are definite parallels with a scientific environment (working for international corporations, government, funding issues, etc). Although when I worked jobs in retail and so on whilst being a student, I did notice that the most successful managers were complete asshats. They kind of made it so that a lot of their coworkers were pretty much afraid to challenge them - they were very charismatic.

I think by being "nice" it implies being a pushover and someone who may be hesitant in defending their views for fear of causing tensions. One can be nice as well as being strong, which I think is crucial to success in le workplace. There is also a lot of sexism involved, a lot of men don't want to ever admit being intimidated by a woman, a lot of them still seem to think they have a right to dominate simply because of their gender.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 01:58 PM
reply to post by DeepThoughtCriminal

Although when I worked jobs in retail and so on whilst being a student, I did notice that the most successful managers were complete asshats.

Never have I seen a truer statement. This is the field I worked in for many years. Although this went for the female managers as well. I don't know about this study, but the ones I have seen tend to be a real "B" on the job. This is however, just my experience, they could have also gotten where they were at because of another total "B" word being over them to begin with, so it may also have a lot to do with managers and higher ups to promote those with the same personality as themselves (and probably were friends with as well).
edit on 4-8-2011 by ldyserenity because: spelling & add

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 02:10 PM
reply to post by Frogs

It starts at the top and ultimately needs to have little to do with success, at least it should'nt. I spent 10 years with a firm in the high pitched asset management business. We managed well over $200bn in assets, had a trading floor moving $100s of millions a day. It is a serious firm with clients all over the world.

If you were a jerk you were gone, period. Not to a peer, not to an administrative person, not to a mail room worker or gent in the cafetaria. We had folks who made several million dollars a year and the only way they were treated different than the security guard was in compensation. Jerks did not survive, they certainly did not get promoted. Smart firms create cultures that value and respect people - its just smart business, especially in a knowledge business.

We had unlimited sick time (which was very seldom abused), never put someone on disability - you needed to take 6 months off to deal with a dying family member across the country, no problem, no change in pay or benefits. Check in once a week, keep your phone on you and come back when you can. We got 4 weeks of vacation that was never tracked and folks got 2 months off every 10 years.

Turnover? Less than 5%. Profit and revenue? Over 20%/year over the ten years. The philosphy was not "take care of the client first" it was and publically stated in front of clients "take your employees first and they will take care of the clients"

I realize that its rare, but it can be done, but it has to start at the top with a zero tolerance for anti-social behavior.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 02:13 PM
I think it is because genetic sociopaths have been in control of the top tiers of all areas of contemporary society. Sociopaths select other sociopaths as their underlings.

Unfortunately for both them and us, when the top tiers are overfilled with sociopaths, they tend to turn on each other with unparallelled viciousness and usually cause a collapse of the sociey they use, but can't properly manage.

Study enough history, and the patterns are clear when you realize that sociopaths are a distinct genetic phenotype that comprise 4-6% of humanity that views the rest of humanity as legitimate prey. There simply must be a threshold value past which the social environment can't support them and a collapse of one population or both occurs.

You might want to comment on this thread:

Should screening for genetic sociopathy be mandatory for politicians and police?
edit on 4-8-2011 by apacheman because: sp

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 02:23 PM
reply to post by DeepThoughtCriminal

but also resolute in my words and my actions, and will not let myself be dominated by anyone.

I think you hit the correct button here, as we are talking about promotions, not high political financial office, where weird and ruthless guys can be found. I think for someone to be too compliant is terrible. I used to be a doormat socially, and I got stomped on.
edit on 4-8-2011 by simone50m because: spell

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 02:48 PM
Sure.Last and uncredited and given no position of authority.
No need to get religious but we have Jesus and his followers that could not be believed.
Not too long ago we had Tesla and his work thrown to the dogs in Germany and is still
suppressed. The lies of Shakespeare live on when the Royals might come clean on Marlowe.
And of course Velikovsky that read the history of man and can't be believed.

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