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In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, we talk about being a people-pleaser, the problems it can create within a start-up, and whether being one can a strength or a weakness when you are hiring team members.

When it comes to hiring staff, especially customer-facing roles, you may be tempted to hire someone who loves to please other people. This can be a great thing, as people-pleasers are usually awesome people and can make great team members.

However,  there’s a risk that a people-pleaser’s inclination to please others may be abused or taken advantage of by other team members, and this can lead to that person becoming very unproductive and ultimately this can hurt the company.

Tune into this week’s episode to hear more about Steli and Hiten’s personal experience of working with people-pleasers, their distinction between being selfless and being a people-pleaser, what you can do to stop being a people-pleaser and much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:04 About today's topic: Being a people pleaser.

00:26 Why being a people pleaser may or may not be good for you.

00:38 Context of a people pleaser.

03:08 Hiten's definition of whom a people-pleaser is.

05:04 Pleasing the company and the team vs pleasing the customers or the users.

06:26 The big distinction between being selfless and a people-pleaser.

07:27 What does a people-pleaser mean to Steli?

08:16 The act of people-pleasing.

09:14 The downside of saying “yes” all the time.

10:40 The risks of being a people-pleaser at work.

12:17 Steli's recommendations of what to do if you're a people-pleaser.

14:05 Are you a people pleaser?

3 Key Points:

The most selfless people I know are people pleasers.

If you have the ability to be a people pleaser, it’s a skill, it’s a talent. But you can use it in a way that is not beneficial to you or your endeavour.

The risk of being a people pleaser is that you’re not dealing with truth and conflict in the most effective way possible.


Steli Efti: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.



Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah.



Steli Efti: In today's episode we want to talk about being a people pleaser.



Hiten Shah: Here we like to talk about more than just sales and marketing.



Steli Efti: We just want to bullshit and chat about business and life, and hopefully while we're doing that provide a lot of value to people.



Hiten Shah: The world's best business podcast, shit.



Steli Efti: Shit, we've got it.



Hiten Shah: For people trying to get shit done.



Steli Efti: Done, yeah. We don't want to give you feedback that's bullshit.



Hiten Shah: We want you to do your best.



Steli Efti: Why that may or may not be good for you in life in general but also specifically for you when you work in startups, either as a founder or somebody often times that is working with any other person. Here's the context why I want to talk about people pleaser specifically. We've had this case a few times, where people on our team, especially people on our team that are very customer facing, that a few of them at some point identify themselves as, "You know what, I am somebody that, I am a people pleaser, I'm somebody that likes to say yes to others, that likes to help, that likes to be liked, and that avoids often times any kind of thing that would get in the way of that." Which means usually avoiding conflict, avoiding rejecting people or saying no to people, avoiding being critical to others or avoiding anything else that can create ... Anything that stops other people from really,

Key points in this episode

Key Highlights

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