People pleasers.  You see a lot of people pleasers from my chair. As many of my peers have identified and I can certainly vouch for this, we seem to be not only one part recruiter but one part career coach and guidance counsellor.

There is an eagerness to please and say “yes” which doesn’t overly surprise me. Considering they are in the hot seat to impress or simply avoid conflict at all costs, the sincerity and at times respect can be lost and this is a problem, possibly a bad habit that needs breaking.

A few signs I see from people pleasers are:

  • Continuously agreeing to all suggestions knowing you don’t always agree. 
  • Immensely uncomfortable taking negative feedback, which doesn’t mean someone doesn’t like you but find yourself accepting the feedback when you may not completely agree or not seeking clarification or objecting  
  • You require validation to feel good about yourself, you base your self-worth on flawed opinions from (at times) strangers or worse, people you take direction from
  • Here is a big one, you constantly apologise for things that you either didn’t do or disagree with but none the less, apologise.  As I tell my children as they enter their teen years, do not apologise for something you did not do.  Have some tact and own the situation, stand up for yourself.

Through interviewing both candidates and clients alike over the years.  There is a character trait that keeps coming up and that is “don’t send us a yes person”.  In questioning this the typical response is that clients want someone with a bit of grit, tenacity and can push back and say “no” if need be.  It’s also known as having some metal or to be thick-skinned in pressure environments.

Start small and add your opinion, push back with evidence and read the situation in advance and the cycle of habit can change.  Good things take time and old habits die hard but a little time and perseverance and positive change can be made.