Being a people pleaser can be a blessing and a curse. It's great because, deep down, a people pleaser just wants other people to be happy. Being a people pleaser becomes problematic when it causes you to over-commit yourself to projects and tasks. How can you as a people pleaser, make people happy and be productive?
Before I get into the mind set, what does the downside to being a people pleaser look like in business? I worked with one person in particular who had a hard time with being a people pleaser and running an effective business. They were constantly over-promising on deadlines and under-delivering their finished product. They always gave people answers that they thought people wanted to hear and it ended up killing their reputation and their business in the process.
So here's a guide to assist people pleaser's in being more productive and avoid making the above mistakes in your career or business.
As with any transformation, it's important to start with your mindset. The question is, why do you want to tell people certain things regarding when your work will be done? Typically it's because you want to make people happy. I was introduced to a concept by Steve Chandler that I thought was really powerful when it came to being a people pleaser and how to overcome certain behaviors.
The concept revolved around pleasing people and serving. Are we trying to just make people happy or are we truly trying to serve? If we are engaged in the latter, it changes the way that we approach responding to requests that come our way. When we have a mind set of service, we start to develop how we can best serve the people around us and it steers us away from behavior that becomes destructive with regards to our commitments.
So what happens if your mind set shift doesn't happen right away?
If you are still tempted to people please despite your desire to serve then try to slow down your impulse to respond to a request right away. The simplest way to do that is to never respond to a request right away. If someone asks you for something, make sure you take some time to assess the possibilities. The same holds true for new projects. If someone needs a timeline, make sure you take some time to consult your schedule before making a commitment.
So you decide that you don't have time for a request, then what are you going to do? Say yes anyway?
People pleaser's are terrified of the word “no”. It kills them to say it to someone regardless of how unreasonable the request. The problem for people pleaser's is that they are worried that they will offend someone by telling them no. By saying yes, it sometimes over-commits them to a project that they are then late on thus pissing off the very person you are trying to please. It's a vicious cycle isn't it? Learn to use the word “no” as a tool for your sanity.
Your companies brand is important as is your reputation. Trying to please people hinders our productivity through committing us to projects we aren't suited for and over-committing our time as well. Go through these steps and ask yourself why you are making the commitments that you are making and what you can do to put yourself in a position to be more productive. People will stop making unreasonable requests when you stop saying say “yes” to them.