Another reason to be nice: It’ll get you far on the job

The time-worn adage that nice guys finish last isn’t exactly true.

Growing research shows that likable employees may have more success on the job.

Likability can even trump competence. A study this year in the Harvard Business Review found that personal feelings toward an employee play a more important role in forming work relationships than is commonly acknowledged. It is even more important than how competent an employee is seen to be.

“We want to work with people that make us feel good to be around them. Likability is the tiebreaker to almost anything.”

Likability is hard to define, but Sanders says people gravitate toward others who deliver psychological benefits. In other words, likability is the ability to produce a positive emotional experience in someone else, such as making co-workers feel good about themselves.

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