Deeper Insights: Resources For Releasing The Need To Please Others

Throughout November 2019, DRIVEN has been pushing back against the Need to Please Others, revealing the ways in which this compulsion can actually work against you. We published four articles and delivered an OfficeHours webinar with special guest Juliana Ashley exploring how “people pleasing” and being nice all the time can be paralyzing for professional women, and how we women can re-lease our careers by reframing common situations in  away that maintains our integrity while advancing us toward our goals. For instance, in my recent article A Shift In Attitude: Releasing The Need To Please Your Network, I laid out the ways in which I, personally, have managed the struggles involved with my own people pleasing as an entrepreneur, so you can learn from my mistakes (even in the restaurant business!)

As with each of DRIVEN’s topics, there are outstanding resources for further reading and listening. These include related DRIVEN articles and external resources like books, podcasts and video presentations. Here’s the November roundup of our favorite links related to releasing the need to please others— some of which will link you to additional resources therein. Explore them, and then reach out to us. We’d love to hear what resonates with you in these areas!



Give and Take by Adam Grant: This modern classic breaks down the difference between the Givers, the Matchers and the Takers in the workplace, and discusses how these different styles each have their own impact on career success. It’s social science at its most insightful. You can also get a primer by listening to Adam interviewed on Marketplace.

The Connector’s Advantage by Michelle Lederman: Chapter 10 of Michelle’s groundbreaking book about growing your influence in business speaks about giving— as a service provider, and to your network. The section of this chapter about setting boundaries is a priceless read for those whose product is their expertise. Michelle’s definition of a “generous spirit” is to not feel resentful about the act of giving, for if you do, perhaps that’s an indication of where you need to set your boundary. This attitude is SPOT ON!

Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend: Learning how to create boundaries gives you the tools to move from powerless to powerful, and this book lays it all out for you. You’ll be guided to assess what’s boundary worthy and how to manage when your boundary-making upsets others. Since we’ve been exploring the need to please this month on DRIVEN, you may want to start at Chapter 3.


DRIVEN Blog Articles:

Learning To Say “No” by ME— Deborah: This article from the early days of DRIVEN illustrates how a 3-second pause can save you time & energy. This intentional pause is a brief yet powerful space within which you can learn to say “No” to someone’s request without coming across as negative or unaccommodating. Read the article and transform “busy” from a 4-letter word to state of career bliss.


A Podcast:

Ego Boundary: The Bruce Lee Podcast: Often, setting boundaries is hard on the ego. But this outlook can be overcome when certain wisdoms about ego are applied. Those wisdoms are part of what made the late Bruce Lee a brilliant and effective martial artist. It’s all discussed in this podcast episode, which will hopefully be an inspiration for you in your pursuit of understanding and setting the boundaries that keep you on an upward career trajectory.