The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness

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Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval have moved to the top of the advertising industry by following a simple but powerful philosophy: it pays to be nice. Where so many companies encourage a dog eat dog mentality, the Kaplan Thaler Group has succeeded through chocolate and flowers. In THE POWER OF NICE, through their own experiences and the stories of other people and businesses, they demonstrate why, contrary to conventional wisdom, nice people finish first.

Turning the well-known adage of “Nice Guys Finish Last” on its ear, THE POWER OF NICE shows that “nice” companies have lower employee turnover, lower recruitment costs, and higher productivity. Nice people live longer, are healthier, and make more money. In today’s interconnected world, companies and people with a reputation for cooperation and fair play forge the kind of relationships that lead to bigger and better opportunities, both in business and in life.

But being nice doesn’t mean acting wimpy. In fact, nice may be the toughest four-letter word you’ll ever encounter.

Kaplan Thaler and Koval illustrate the surprising power of nice with an array of real-life examples from the business arena as well as from their personal lives. Most important, they present a plan of action covering everything from creating a positive impression to sweetening the pot to turning enemies into allies. Filled with inspiration and suggestions on how to supercharge your career and expand your reach in the workplace, THE POWER OF NICE will transform how you live and work.

Customer Reviews:

  • Great Service
    Using Amazon was very fast and cost affective as well. My purchase cost mush less then going to a "book store" and I had my order within a week. It seemed to be even faster on my second order. Thanks Amazon, I will be sure to use you for my future purchases...more info
  • Short, Simple & Sweet Yet Power Packed with Life Changing Principles
    I had heard of this book through someone else and wanted to read it because of the self-help quiz at the book's website. However, when I got the chance to read it, I finished it almost in one sitting. Like one of the other reviewers said, it reminds you of the basics and how the act of being nice to someone no matter what their station is in life can ultimately change your life. What I like is that the book doesn't teach you to fake being nice; it challenges you to actually be genuinely nice to others, often with no thought of gaining something in return. A simple principle but as its many examples illustrate, a powerful one that can impact your life in ways you'd never expect. ...more info
  • Great book for anyone!
    I think this book is just awesome! It touches on how powerful nice really can be, how far it can get you, and using kindness in every day life can bring you experiences you never could have had if you didn't put that smile on. It is not easy to be nice to people you don't like, mean people, or people who don't like you, but I would recommend giving this book a glance if you want to take the time to see the message it has for all of us....more info
  • Power of Nice
    Being in a sales environment this book has really helped me to see all the multiple qualities of people and give you good ways to deal with them. Really enjoyed the book and learned atlot of new things. Been in the sales field for over 15 yrs....more info
  • Kaplan's Power of Nice
    First of alll, this isn't the usual kind of book I read. I have not read any of the other "self help" authors, but did pick up on a lot of use from the magazines I read. And there are parts that reminded me of Richard Simmons or Oprah. But it didn't bother me so much to get in a little "niceness". It was refreshing to read about how "nice" can work instead of "mean". I have certainly not know anyone to focus on such before. I picked this up since a friend mentioned how much this book helped them be a better person in their professional life. After reading it I think there's a lot to be said about the power of nice. Nice guys can win... ...and you can be a nice guy and be a winner too....more info
  • Good book, Poor cover
    Stuck in LA . Flight delayed,Desperate for a short but useful book. The last book I would normally pick is one with a smiley face. Glad I did. The book's Big Idea: we are all connected and when we do one nice thing it spreads and rebounds---in often very unexpected ways---to our benefit. Useful examples on how helping supposed enemies is often good business; insightful ideas on treating today's adversaries like tomorrow's allies; unconvential tactics on moving your frames from "no" to "yes". By the time the flight was ready to board, the book read through---a lot wiser. What they say about books and their covers, so true. ...more info
  • power of nice
    This is a great book. I bought multiple copies for our office staff to read. Everyone needs to be reminded how important it is to be nice and always say thank you. Highly recommended for front line office staff....more info
  • Bake that pie!
    This book clearly outlines the formula for success. I've been practicing the "power of nice" for a few years and can say that having tried the opposite approach, I count this philosophy and practice with every ounce of attainment in my business and personal life. It's fantastic to see other businesspeople doing the same. The fact that the authors are at the helm of a billion dollar ad agency which is one of the fastest growing in the US is just icing on the cake! As they say, the proof is in the pudding. ...more info
  • Couldn't be more relevant
    This book couldn't be more relevant than it is now. With all the horrors going on in the world -- Madoff, governmental crooks, the perpetual stock market plunge...It's so easy to feel disillusioned and hopeless. This book is a pertinent reminder that despite it all we cannot let ourselves recoil in pessimism there is true power in being a good person and rising to the top honestly!!! nice people don't finish last they finish first if you're not only kind, but act strategically while staying true to yourself and your values. The book is full of case studies, tips and strategies and it's an easy read (which is always key for me and my 2 second attention span). Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval's other book "Bang!" is also a great read that helped put some difficult career issues into perspective, but I feel like "The Power of Nice" is even more potent because it applies to EVERYONE. This is a book written by two successful women who have risen to the top through brains, hard work, and ethics -- wouldn't be great if people like this made it into the news more often??...more info
  • The Power Of Nice:How To Conquer The Business World With Kindness
    This is a wise and meaningful book. It's full of examples where niceness makes an active difference in high pressure business envoronments. There's alot to be learned from it and, nicely, they've made it fun to read....more info
  • SOOO Nice!
    This book is so basic, yet so powerful. Can you imagine what our world would be like if everyone adhered to these principles? This should be required reading for every high school and college graduate and for every job orientation. ...more info
  • Do Unto Others...
    Simply put, this book reminds the reader to "Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you." Much like the movie "Pay It Forward" and the concepts of love in the Bible, if we cared more about others and weren't so selfish, the world would be a much better place. ...more info
  • The power of kindness
    I read a great story in Esquire a few years ago about a guy who "killed them with kindness" by making it his personal mission to thank everyone he came across for any reason whatsoever. So, each day he sat down and wrote a dozen e-mails to people specifically thanking them for their help with some minor thing (scheduling an interview, booking his plane ticket, etc.) Then there is "Yes Man" (the book, NOT the movie), which is an autobiography of a comedian who tried saying "Yes" to every Yes or No question for a year and ended up winning the lottery, making loads of new friends, and getting engaged.

    I tell you these things to give you some idea of what you will get out of the Power of Nice-- it's a positive tome that counteracts the horribly negative business world's view that everyone has to be a cutthroat Gordon Gekko (a la "Wall Street") to get ahead. Look where that old idea has gotten us.

    The Power of Nice is a simple, quick read that will really motivate you. And, at the very least, you'll come out believing that nice people do often finish first....more info
    I am a Buzz Agent and received this book as part of a promotion. What an absolutely awesome book. I have put into practice almost every little bit of this book from smiling at everyone to complimenting them to...well, just being nice, and not for what I can get out of it. Nice does work and nice guys (and girls) do not finish last. That is an old misconception. Please read this book. It is a real feel good book and will definitely brighten your day and the day of everyone around you if you put it into practice.

    By the way - another book that has these same principals but is a little harder to read is the called THE BIBLE.

    ...more info
    First of all I am stunned by the fact Jay Leno would contribute to a book on being "nice" in the workplace or anywhere else. Let's leave it at that.

    The book itself is banal, idiotic and repetitive. It's overly simplistic, full of juvinile jargon and caters to the lowest common denominator. (All of a sudden Leno's particuipation is beginning to make sense.)

    I implore you, don't waste your time with this book. Here's the scary thing: the book was worse than I'm making it out to be. I'm being nice. ...more info
  • " The Power of Nice" should be required reading for all citizens
    I just finished reading "The Power of Nice" by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval. I really enjoyed this book and got through it in a short time. (Couldn't put it down once I started). I have always felt that in business and social interactions how important it is to be kind and try to see the other person's point of view. This book was very reinforcing for me as it states so many of the things I try to do in my own life. How when you go out of your way to be considerate and nice to a client and really listen to them, it seems to come back to you in a positive way. (Referrals, etc.)
    I wish everyone would read this book...just think of the possibilities if everyone used this approach in life. We would all get along so much better and more people would be smiling and patient with each other, instead of lashing out and using "vinegar instead of honey"....more info
  • "Nice" reminders.... nicely done!
    Engaging, easy read! Excellent use of vignettes, humor, and insight. A number of important service points presented in various ways to reinforce or capture the attention of many audiences. ...more info
  • Wouldn't it be "nice....."
    ...if we all subscribed to the golden rule of do unto others? If we all practiced this in our own businesses and then refused to do business with companies that treat us or their employees unfairly? Wouldn't it be nice?

    Rebecca D. Turner author of "Tattoo" a business book, read it, grow your business, enjoy your life!!!Tattoo...more info
  • Being nice can pay off!
    It sounds basic, but being nice is just something that not everybody
    does--or at least not often enough . . . and if that's the case in
    your company or organization, then please get and read
    WORLD WITH KINDNESS by advertising executives Linda
    Kaplan Thealer and Robin Koval.

    This is a small but powerful book, packed with
    plenty of examples from the corporate world . . . however,
    students and others would greatly benefit from reading it as
    well, as what the authors have to say makes an awful lot
    of sense in any situation.

    For example, they talk about how this one little act of kindness
    made a flight attendant's day:

    While traveling on a business trip from Los Angeles to New York,
    Rachel Pine noticed that the airline crew looked extremely harried.
    So when the flight attendant came by to check her seat belt,
    Rachel offered her a Fig Newton from her family-size pack. "She
    took it, and was so grateful that she looked like she was going
    to burst into tears," said Rachel. Soon after, the attendant returned
    and asked Rachel to follow her--to first class. "The attendant said,
    `You have no idea what our last flight was like. If just one passenger
    had been like you, it would have been bearable.' "

    I also liked this technique for getting people to pay money
    that they owe:

    Gail tried a number of tactics to convince her creditors to pay--from
    letters that said "Please pay soon" festooned with smiley faces to
    diplomatic phone calls--but nothing worked. Desperate, she
    stumbled on what turned out to be a brilliantly effective idea:
    bribing them with baked goods. "I would send out reminders
    of past-due invoices with the enticement that if paid by a specified
    date, I would reward the client with fresh baked cookies, brownies,
    cake--whatever they wanted. And it worked."

    And then there's this technique that I currently use (and suggest
    that others do, too):

    The next time someone close to you is feeling cranky or
    disagreeable, try handing them a few chocolate Kisses or
    offering them the candy bowl. Although scientists haven't
    completely unraveled the mysteries of chocolate, they do know
    it contains several organic compounds that produce feelings of
    well-being in the human brain. The tryptophan found in
    chocolate, for example, enables the brain to create serotonin,
    an organic compound that can produce feelings of elation and
    ecstasy. And the phenylethylamine in chocolate stimulates the
    brain's pleasure centers and produces many of the feelings of
    infatuation, including giddiness, attraction, and excitement.

    Lastly, THE POWER OF NICE contained some great exercises
    that anybody could utilize . . . this one, in particular, caught
    my attention:

    Zip your lip

    For one day, try to say as little as possible. Try to keep the
    focus away from yourself. Where you're tempted to tell a
    story, ask a question. Where you're tempted to say, "Oh,
    that same thing happened to me...," ask, "How did that make
    you feel?" Don't be obnoxious about it. If someone asks how
    you feel about the new sports stadium the city is building,
    answer the question. But then bring the conversation back to
    the other person's opinion. At the end of the day, make a list
    of everything that you learned. How much would you have
    missed if you had spent the time talking about yourself?
    ...more info
  • Dale Carnegie Updated
    When Dale Carnegie wrote "how to make friends and influence people," his book sold in the millions. This little handbook takes Carnegie's ideas and expands on them to make it clear that the power of nice not only makes business sense - it also makes common sense.

    As a small business person, I've often wondered whether more bluster and less small talk would improve my outcomes. After reading The Power of Nice, I know I'm taking the right approach.

    - Lisa in MA...more info
  • Nice is nice, but needs more.
    First of all, a disclaimer. I got this book free from bzzagent, and I get points for reviewing it.

    Nice is a good theory, in business, in all relationships. And this book explores it in detail. But it does not go far enough or give enough details. Instead, it relates a lot of instances where nice works.

    What it leaves out is this, an advertising firm is not going to be chosen just for being nice. They have to have great creative as well. "Nice" can give you an edge, but it can't get you the job....more info
  • Niceness Wins the Day
    I've often said that if we had to sign our name to everything we did, the world would be a much better place. For example, every time we lose our temper or look down our nose at someone, we'd also have to sign a piece of paper to say we did that.

    When reading The Power of Nice, I was reminded of that. Being nice to people doesn't mean we are pushovers or passive, but it means we are actively accountable for how we treat people in this world. I wonder how many times we've been rude or uncaring for no good reason, and then ended up hurting someone unnecessarily? This book will help you focus on the things that really matter. It isn't hard work, and it will change your thinking for the better.
    ...more info
  • A very nice little book.
    A most pleasant little book about the value of being nice, with very appropriate anecdotal examples. Valuable reading for anyone who deals with people in any capacity. The authors make a great case for the benefits of being nice. ...more info
  • Nice !
    I think this is a very good book. It provides examples in real life and in business showing why it pays off to be nice. I liked that it provides practical examples and assigns exercises in order to incorporate being nice as a daily habit. However I do not believe the arguments and cases will be enough to make mean persons change ways, but at least, should get them thinking....more info
  • Don't expect profundity
    This is indeed a nice book making an important point but dont expect profundity from it. ...more info
  • Great book , short and sweet
    I received this book as part of a [...]. It took me about an hour and a half to read the whole book. It is a great book, very simply and succintly written. The ideas presented are some that we were always taught in school but probably failed to follow somewhere along the way. It teaches us to be good to others , even if they are our enemies, because what goes around , comes around. If you do good to others , it will come back to you. The nice cubes are especially helpful. I have noticed that I do make a conscious effort on my part every day to be good to others at work and at home even if I dont have to. It makes my day go better :)
    if you work in an office , it should be required reading. ...more info
  • yessing people
    I enjoyed the positive mode of this book where we look at the influence of kindness and positiver gesturing. I sometimes find that NO can be an effective tool as well if handles properly and I think this book could have explored that as well....more info
  • A great reminder
    While there is nothing revolutionary in this slim volume ("Be nice -- it's the right thing to do and it just might make your business better"), what is new and different is the wealth of examples the authors provide from their professional and personal lives, as well as the scenarios from other famous and not-so-famous people.

    Well-written in a smooth, conversational style, this book will serve as a much-needed reminder that cutthroat business practices aren't the only way to get ahead. ...more info
  • If you lack common sense this is for you.
    The people who wrote this are in the advertising business. Me too, for 30 years. I can assure you the content of this book has little to do with the industry, so if you are in advertising and looking for an edge, save your money.
    The thrust of this book is the kind of common sense and manners you would hope most people, business or otherwise, in our country still understand are powerful, personal tools. So unless you were raised by dogs, save your money. There isn't much here your mother didn't teach you. Unless of course, she was raised by dogs....more info
  • I thought I was nice...
    I thought I was nice until I read this book and took the nice quiz at the website. At first, like several other reviewers here, it seemed like a repeat of things we learned long ago. After a couple of chapters, I noticed that I actually felt nicer than I had when I started reading it.

    The authors are genuine with nice little exercises that will help the reader realize even more ways to be nicer. I like the one about the gossip-free day. And also the one where you do not talk about yourself and even if the conversation steers its way to you, you simply turn it back away. That feels so good.

    Kaplan Thaler are the creators of the Aflac insurance duck campaign. They say that the company sent them all sorts of stats and write-ups for them to begin their campaign. Out of the blue, one of them asked the owner and CEO how did he really feel. It turns out that he was annoyed that no one most clients could not pronounce the name of the company. A simple, honest feeling that spawned the "Aflac!" duck.

    The Kaplan Thaler company has everything to do with other arts and businesses. We all know that people come to us with all sorts of attitudes and we, in turn, have just as much. When we leave our egos behind, we can get to the nice side and solve differences. Sure, we all know how to bend over backwards to please a client but can we do it without feeling we lost in the end or do we learn how to do it and come out winners?

    As a BZZAgent, I was also sent the book to read. I was actually going to share it with others but decided to keep it around for a while until I completed all the exercisesThe Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness.

    You can't go wrong reading The Power of Nice. If nothing more, you will feel nice afterwards. ...more info
  • Make the world a better place
    This little book can do more to make the world a better place than anything I have read lately. Not only does reading it help people (not just women), understand how getting ahead in their career by being nice is more efficient than being cut throat. It also serves as a lesson on how to treat people on a day to day basis...pointing out that "nice" must become a habit. People should not mistake this as a "chick" book. Any powerful man who reads it will agree it is a little, but strong message to be heeded by all....more info
  • A good lesson for Madoff
    I like when people are nice. Nice people are who I want to hang out with. So why wouldn't I want the people I do business with to be nice? But supposedly cruel ruthlessness is how you get ahead. Au contraire, says The Power of Nice. The nicer you are (not to be confused with passiveness or severely sacrificing yourself), the better off you'll be. If you think yelling and being a jerk is going to take you far, good luck to you... just don't test your theory around me. This book is full of practical tips to help you succeed with niceness, but it's also the sort of book that can make the world a better (nicer) place.

    Too bad Madoff didn't read this book. ...more info


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