5 Ways to Become a Healthy People-Pleaser


Only people-pleasers succeed. The more people you please the more success you enjoy. The list of people who need pleasing includes:

  1. Clients.
  2. Superiors.
  3. Boards.
  4. Employees.
  5. Colleagues.
  6. Vendors.

“Just please yourself,” may be an excuse for lazy, self-indulgence. But, unchecked people-pleasing destroys people.

Five ways to become a healthy people-pleaser:

Please yourself in ways that please others.

I please myself when I write this blog, for example. I write short sentences, paragraphs, and articles. I leave stuff out. Not everyone likes it, but enough do.

Say “no” clearly.

“No” is part of leadership.

  1. Listen carefully.
  2. Consider prudently.
  3. Seek advice.
  4. Don’t rush.

But whatever you do, make clear, honest, compassionate decisions. Indecisive leaders, who need to please everyone, end up pleasing no one.

Anticipate information needs.

Eliminate the “wondering factor” with information.

Information pleases; being in the dark frustrates. Understand the information needs of those you serve and exceed them. Knock on their door before they knock on yours.

Wondering if they are wondering stresses you.

Manage expectations.

Pleasing others means meeting or better yet, exceeding expectations. Let them know what to expect. Consider deadlines, for example. Too much need-to-please causes you to accept unrealistic timelines.

Manage expectations before they manage you. Set realistic expectations and exceed them.

Leverage sweet spots.

Align your strength with their need, then trust yourself. Take coaching, for example. Curiosity is my sweet spot. Clients discover insights because I trust my curiosity. Do what you do best, most of the time.

Success is always about pleasing people. Healthy people-pleasers use knowledge of themselves and those they serve to build pleasing relationships and environments.

Still, you can’t please everyone. Don’t try.

How does people pleasing get out of hand?

How can leaders please others in healthy ways?

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