Can you be nice and be a good manager?

Feb 11, 2022 | Employer brand, Soft Skills

According to several authors and researchers, skills such as kindness, gratitude and empathy are today key skills to optimize your turnover. Franck Martin, coach and trainer of several SMEs and public companies, even affirms that benevolence is the essential cement of change . [1] Let’s discover together how these soft skills can optimize your performance and your growth.

Some benefits

According to Gallup, managers are largely responsible for the conditions most likely to cause or prevent burnout in their employees. For this reason, when an organization makes wellness a priority of its culture and provides resources for employees to lead healthier lives, they take better care of themselves. [2]

Giving a compliment and expressing your appreciation could concretely help your employees feel more fulfilled and boost their self-esteem.[3] For your company, a healthy team could turn out to be a big financial benefit when you consider that, on average, burnt-out employees cost $3,400 out of every $10,000 in salary due to disengagement . [4]

Better performance thanks to empathy management

Did you know that according to a study by DDI World [5] , only 40% of leaders have empathy skills? [6] Too bad if we consider that empathy could prove to be a fundamental element in being good managers.

According to Bianca McCann, HR Director at BetterWorks, [7] this is one of the most important capabilities for leading and driving employee engagement in a diverse, dispersed, and ever-changing environment.

“Being a good manager means soliciting, encouraging collective intelligence, managing by values”. Isabelle Cohen Solal, Strategic adviser, Board Member, COHerence&SOLUTIONS

The success of Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval is a true testament to the importance of soft skills like kindness and gratitude. Indeed, in their book The Power of Nice , they tell how their smile allowed them to transform their small advertising agency KTG into a company with 200 employees and a turnover of one billion dollars. [8]

“Authority is not imposed or imposed badly, leadership must be natural. The team recognizes its leader, recognition and respect are mutual. “. Isabelle Cohen Solal, Strategic adviser, Board Member, COHerence&SOLUTIONS

According to André Gigon, Managing Director and Head of Institutional Clients at UBP, empathy is an important factor in keeping its corporate culture strong. [9]

The limits of kindness

To be nice or to be too nice, where is the border? This boundary must be clear. Being kind, wouldn’t it ultimately be knowing how to say no but in a benevolent way?

Indeed, being too nice could be counterproductive: difficulty giving honest feedback so as not to hurt someone, being nice to one employee and not another and thus creating discrimination, being nice at times and turn into a demon at other times, etc. [10] The drifts can be numerous and devastating for a team.

“A good atmosphere is crucial. However, at work, we are not a group of friends”. Isabelle Cohen Solal, Strategic adviser, Board Member, COHerence&SOLUTIONS


Company culture and the well-being of your employees are key to performance, including skills such as kindness, gratitude and empathy within a clear framework.

Finally, being a nice manager with clear expectations and an open feedback culture, could it not be considered as a sign of performance?

At 123 Next Generation , we help companies adapt to the challenges of tomorrow. We support you in the long term in a holistic way in the key subjects of the acquisition and retention of your talents, the development of skills in particular soft skills, change management, multigenerational transmission, your employer brand, your corporate culture. business, your digital communication, in particular for more visibility and attractiveness, performance and sustainability, corporate responsibility.

We offer tailor-made training, consulting and communication services dedicated to companies and their talents. In short, we advise, we train, we communicate.

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