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The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness Hardcover – September 19, 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (September 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385518927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385518925
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With a foreword by Jay Leno, how could this not be a nice book? Coauthors Thaler and Koval submit their own success in the cutthroat world of advertising as evidence that nice girls can finish first while taking home more than a dozen Clio awards along the way. Following up their bestselling look at creating compelling marketing strategies—Bang!—they turn most truisms about business inside out, arguing that good deeds are returned, not punished. Warning against a me vs. you mentality, they even suggest helping opponents as a good way to boost a career. Game face on? Thaler and Koval say, take it off. Being genuine, they explain, produces much better results. From crediting their friendly building security guard for helping them sign new clients to recommending chocolate as an accompaniment to presentation materials and invoices, they build their case for using little gestures to get you what you want. Though a lively and pleasant read, this is not a cutesy little bonbon of a book. Well thought-out and crisply presented, it offers key principles, case studies and exercises to help make niceness habitual. Some exercises, like turning personal disappointment into positive energy, are even quite therapeutic. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“This little book will show you why women should run most corporations in America, and maybe the entire country. Reading Nice will improve just about everything in your life, and that’s a promise.”
—James Patterson, bestselling author, former CEO of J. Walter Thompson North America

The Power of Nice is a wonder drug! It could literally save your career and your life…. And let me suggest a first act of kindness: buy some extra copies for your enemies. I’ll bet they need The Power of Nice more than you do.”
—Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone, the bestselling book on building relationships for success

“Leo Durocher was wrong! Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval’s The Power of Nice is the antidote to our increasingly mean-spirited culture. I’m going to send a copy to every political campaign consultant I know.”
—Arianna Huffington

“In negotiation, the cheapest concession you can make is to be nice. And the returns can be high, as Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval show in this delightfully readable primer packed with practical advice and entertaining stories. I recommend it with pleasure!”
—William Ury, co-author of Getting to Yes and author of The Power of a Positive No (2007).

“For my money, I would always rather make a deal with people I like who treat me well. If you want to discover the surprising power of nice, read this book. Memorize it. Use it. You’ll be glad you did.”
—Donald Trump

More About the Author

Linda Kaplan Thaler is the CEO and Chief Creative Officer and Robin Koval is General Manager of the Kaplan Thaler Group, ranked as the fastest growing advertising agency in the U.S. by leading industry and business publications. They are responsible for some of the biggest bangs in the marketing world skyrocketing sales, infiltrating pop culture and creating brand icons such as the AFLAC Duck.

Customer Reviews

This book is a must read for everyone in business and in life.
Houry Geudelekian
Yet the book reminds us of the simple and important things that we can say and do each day....that will make the world....our world, a better and "nicer" place.
Their practical examples and real life stories combined with the research presented made the book more than just feel good fluff.
R. Swedenburg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Groner VINE VOICE on September 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a sprightly, and brief, book that can be read practically at one sitting. Thaler and Kaplan know how to tell a good anecdote. The one that sticks with me is about Thaler's college music-composition professor telling her she had no talent for writing atonal, avant-garde music and should stick to "jingles": the result was a wildly successful career in advertising.

A lot of the advice here is of the "kindergarten" variety but is still invaluable. Tell the truth. Give other people the credit that is due them. Put yourself in the other person's place.

Actually, only a small portion of the advice here would strictly fall in the category of being "nice" just for the sake of being nice and doing the right thing just because it's right. Some examples: It is better not to fire people via e-mail. One should respect all human beings, whether they are security guards, CEOs, or panhandlers. That's called being "nice," or what Yiddish speakers used to say was simply being a "mensch."

Other pieces of advice here are more clearly strategic. Certainly it pays to cultivate friends and contacts: we hear once again the story about Bill Clinton shaking everyone's hand on the ship on the way to his Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford, telling them he hoped to be president of the United States some day. As many other business and pop-psychology writers have noted, listening is generally far preferable to speaking at one-on-one business meetings because the other person responds well to a meeting at which he is talking. Stay positive in a political or other campaign if you can; no one really likes hearing negative pitches all the time.

With that caveat -- that some of the advice is good but standard business-book thinking -- I can give this book four stars. It's really a nice book.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Michael P. Maslanka on October 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stuck in LA . Flight delayed,Desperate for a short but useful book. The last book I would normally pick is one with a smiley face. Glad I did. The book's Big Idea: we are all connected and when we do one nice thing it spreads and rebounds---in often very unexpected ways---to our benefit. Useful examples on how helping supposed enemies is often good business; insightful ideas on treating today's adversaries like tomorrow's allies; unconvential tactics on moving your frames from "no" to "yes". By the time the flight was ready to board, the book read through---a lot wiser. What they say about books and their covers, so true.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By C. Middleton on February 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Walking through the down town train terminal in Melbourne to catch the 12:15 p.m. `rocket train' to Bendigo, a gold rush town of 19th century Australia, which still manages to carry on and exist despite our states current lack of water, to see an old friend from my university days; trying to kill time, came across this extraordinary book. Short in length, the book's content strangely connecting to a conversation about business with a friend the night before, I decided to buy the text and read it on my two hour journey...excellent.

As the two successful advertising business women claim, to be `nice' is much more powerful than the age-old capitalist strategies in business: intimidation, arrogance, intrigue and a conscience capability to `make the kill' has always been the mark of any successful person or company. What Thaler and Koval have discovered is that basic good manners, being cordial, friendly, and unconsciously kind, will bring in more business than the other.

The author's give the reader many examples of `nice' over arrogance, kindness over aggression, but the most simple and compelling anecdote was the story about their buildings security guard, Frank.

Frank is a larger than life human being who, everyday, meets the NYC workers that move hurriedly to the elevator in search of that first cup of coffee or unfinished presentation. Good old Frank always greets each person with a big grin and a heartfelt `Good Morning'. This greeting is sincere and as time moved along, the workers' for the authors advertising business felt better in the morning and wittled it down to the fact that Frank was the reason (or part of the reason for their change of attitude in the mornings) and began to change their own approaches to business as a result.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Blaine Greenfield on December 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It sounds basic, but being nice is just something that not everybody

does--or at least not often enough . . . and if that's the case in

your company or organization, then please get and read


WORLD WITH KINDNESS by advertising executives Linda

Kaplan Thealer and Robin Koval.

This is a small but powerful book, packed with

plenty of examples from the corporate world . . . however,

students and others would greatly benefit from reading it as

well, as what the authors have to say makes an awful lot

of sense in any situation.

For example, they talk about how this one little act of kindness

made a flight attendant's day:

While traveling on a business trip from Los Angeles to New York,

Rachel Pine noticed that the airline crew looked extremely harried.

So when the flight attendant came by to check her seat belt,

Rachel offered her a Fig Newton from her family-size pack. "She

took it, and was so grateful that she looked like she was going

to burst into tears," said Rachel. Soon after, the attendant returned

and asked Rachel to follow her--to first class. "The attendant said,

`You have no idea what our last flight was like. If just one passenger

had been like you, it would have been bearable.' "

I also liked this technique for getting people to pay money

that they owe:

Gail tried a number of tactics to convince her creditors to pay--from

letters that said "Please pay soon" festooned with smiley faces to

diplomatic phone calls--but nothing worked.
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