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Studies show that women leaders who give critical feedback are more harshly judged as “unlikable” compared to men who do the exact same. But for women, “likability” plays an outsized role in getting promoted, forcing women executives to not just want to be liked but need to be liked. On the second season of Chief’s podcast, “The New Rules of Business,” Chief Co-Founders Carolyn Childers and Lindsay Kaplan dig into the business cost of being too nice with Sheila Heen and Debbie Goldstein of Triad Consulting.

“The thing that feels confusing about nice is that when it's warmth, it's often rewarded,” says Heen, who also serves as a professor at Harvard Law. But when leaders are “nice” to be more liked, it could result in shying away from giving constructive feedback or not having tough conversations with employees. This forces the negative conversations to go underground, creating an uneasy, psychologically unsafe environment. “If there's a gap between what you are saying to other people externally and what you actually think and feel, as a leader, that very quickly starts to fray the trust between you and your team,” she adds.

While it’s true that women leaders are judged harshly for giving constructive feedback that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do it. Rather, Goldstein says leaders should enter feedback conversations with the mindset that they are helping a team member grow. “This will help you be in alignment with who you are and who you want to be in the relationship, but it also does a second thing which is it gives you a place from which to offer honest coaching,” says Heen. Coaching, along with appreciation and evaluation, are the three types of feedback she says leaders should give their teams to foster a psychologically safe and trusting environment.

To learn more about how to avoid falling into the trap of toxic niceness, listen to the latest episode of “The New Rules of Business.” And be sure to leave a review and follow wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes drop every Tuesday.