Fran Hauser, former media executive, didn’t expect to write a book about kindness.
But as a mentor to tons of young women, Hauser was always asked how she could be both "so nice" and yet so successful. And that's how The Myth of the Nice Girl was born.
Studies show that the more ambitious a woman is, the less “likeable” she becomes. Hauser also points out that “nice” has become a throw away word. “It’s almost like something that you keep in your back pocket that you use when you have no better word to use…and I do think it does often get equated with weakness at work.”
But nice is no longer weak in Fran's book. Named one of Amazon’s Best Books of 2018, The Myth of the Nice Girl debunks the idea that if you are too nice at work you can’t get ahead. In her own career, Hauser has found that being nice at work has gotten people to trust her, and has helped her to have healthy business relationships.
When she was in her 20s, Hauser got promoted to a really big job. “On paper there were so many people that were more qualified than I was…and when I asked ‘why me?’ basically what I learned is that I had great relationships with people, that I was able to influence people to get things done, and that I had a team of people that would follow me anywhere.”
So the myth that you can’t be nice AND successful is total BS. In fact, empathy and kindness are an asset to both negotiation and business. Fran’s advice to young women entering the workforce surrounded by tons of conflicting advice on how to be successful? Networking! “I can’t stress it enough. The idea of building that group of people that you can go to…it’s so important to develop those relationships and be intentional about it.”
Check out my conversation with Fran above. For more conversations with impactful women, check out Strong Opinions Loosely Held.