I cannot count the amount of times I’ve heard a manager tell me they’re a ‘people pleaser’.
As a result, they find it difficult to:
- Say “no”
- Have conversations with others about performance
- Ask others to do work they know they could just do themselves (see delegate)
- Give bad news
- Change their mind
- Write-up or fire employees
- Hold boundaries of physical space or figurative ‘mind space’
Here’s the deal.
People pleasing doesn’t exist.
What does exist is fear of the response when we say “no”.
We don’t say “yes” when we mean “no” because we want to make others happy.
We say “yes” when we mean “no” because we don’t want to deal with the discomfort that comes with the “no”.
We don’t address people’s performance because we are uncomfortable with how they may respond.
We don’t want to change our minds or implement a new plan, because we are uncomfortable with what others will say or do.
We don’t give people bad news or have tough conversations because we aren’t comfortable… Not because we’re such nice, people pleasers.
If this is you, I invite yourself to be honest with yourself.
When you run a business, there are (way too many) decisions and conversations you HAVE TO HAVE that aren’t FUN, WONDERFUL and/or INVIGORATING.
Signing up to be the boss means you are the boss. You make decisions. You share them. You implement plans and processes that are unpopular.
Telling yourself you can’t do it because you’re too much of a people pleaser is a lie you tell yourself (and others).
Just say it.
I’m uncomfortable with this.
This is hard.
I get it.
But you can do it.
I know you can.