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The Problem with Pleasers

One of the most difficult personality types to manage in the workplace is The Pleaser.This is primarily because in almost every way, The Pleaser is a consistently terrific person to be around and a great asset to the organization.Upbeat, pleasant, and anxious to please all around them, they can often be the social soul of a company, it’s greatest cheerleader, and the “go to” person you turn to when the chips are down and you really need something done.Clients typically love having a Pleaser take care of them, as they are completely dedicated to customer service, and won’t stop until their clients are fully content. Management knows that The Pleaser is a terrific brand enhancement for the organization, and Pleasers always go over and above the call of duty when needed.

So, why wouldn’t a company prefer to be completely filled with Pleasers? Well, the very aspects of their personality that make them so terrific can also place a drain on the organization. Pleasers want to be liked, and frequently place that goal above the necessary financial parameters a company must operate within. Pleasers frequently go so far in servicing a client that the company loses money.  Pleasers hate to ask for money, and would prefer to expend enormous amounts of time making clients happy as opposed to asking for fair payment for their services. They can be easily manipulated by a client that wants more service than they are willing to pay for.

Pleasers in management can also be very problematic. In their desire to be liked, they tend to be so empathetic towards their employees that they allow mediocrity or downright incompetence to flourish. They don’t want to do the often hard management job of holding people accountable because it would decrease their likability.

So, it falls to upper management to channel a Pleaser’s best attributes, and control the downside of their personality. They need to be counseled and monitored to make sure they are billing adequately for their services. If done properly, this can also provide an ego boost for them, as their manager explains just what a terrific job they are doing and why the company needs to be compensated for their good work. Creating a good balance between the Pleaser’s desire to service the client – and their desire to best serve the company is essential. Pleasers in management require the same kind of counseling to assure they are placing reasonable standards on their employees, so they place the good of the organization above their own desire to be liked.  And when these practices are put into place, a Pleaser can be a huge asset to any company.

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