“One of the most underrated skills in business right now is being nice”

According to CNBC, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says that “one of the most underrated skills in business right now is being nice. Nice sells.”

Amen, brother!

I’ve never understood how anyone ever thought that being an asshole is good for business.

People really do remember how you treated them, and being a jerk doesn’t endear you to them, or make them inclined to come back for more abuse. There are companies here in Austin that I still won’t do business with, even after 25 years, because of how they treated me.

As a parent, I went out of my way to model the behavior I wanted my daughter to emulate.

Kindness has always been at the top of the list. It costs nothing, and everyone feels better once the encounter is concluded.

Oddly enough — actually, it’s not odd at all — being nice has usually always paid off for me, both as a customer and in business.

Several years ago, my family was traveling in Germany. We ended up around dinnertime at the Hotel Adelon in Berlin — just steps away from the Brandenburg Gate — without reservations and with empty stomachs.

They have a lovely outdoor restaurant and bar, and the staff had been hopping all day because it was Gay Pride weekend. Some visitors had berated the staff because the service wasn’t as fast as they liked.

But the weather was nice, there was an empty table that would sit three people comfortably, and the people-watching was divine. The service was awesome, but the kitchen was having…issues…and things were taking awhile.

The waiter kept apologizing. We kept assuring him that we were fine — keep the bread and butter, and the mineral water and beer coming, and we. were. good.

Once the meal (finally) arrived, it was heavenly.

We asked for the check.

The waiter brought the check…and a lovely complimentary dessert complete with three glasses of sparkling wine because, the waiter said, “you were so patient and kind. It’s been a long day. Thank you.”

The next time I go to Berlin, and I really hope it’s soon, I’ll be staying at the Hotel Adlon. They treat people right. And I appreciate it.

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