Despite what some may think, you don’t have to put on your sternest face and show everyone your “intimidating” side to get ahead in the professional world. Doing things with a smile doesn’t imply you don’t mean business. Showing a gentler side doesn’t mean you are less “tough” of a professional or take your career any less seriously. In fact, a little kindness goes a long way in the workplace. Here is why you should consider running for Mr./Ms. Congeniality in your office!

You never know when you’ll need a hand.

Is your computer on the fritz? You might wish you had been nicer to your IT guy last week. Are you backing into a deadline and stressing out? Maybe you shouldn’t have blown off that teammate who was in a bind on her last project. The bottom line is that an office is a cohesive unit, and there are a lot of people within it that specialize in areas that can make your life easier if you need a hand. Why make enemies and alienate yourself?

It will brighten your day.

Does your workday seem painfully dull? Maybe it’s because you’ve been frowning at your computer screen with your headphones in for 8 hours straight. Human interaction, even in little instances like listening in on a quick joke or telling someone how your weekend was, can help boost your mood. You might even make friends at work! Whether you hang out with them outside of the office or not, it definitely comes in handy to have a buddy to head to lunch with if you are having a stressful morning and need to vent.

You can advance your career.

In order to be a leader, it helps to be a person that others want to follow.  This isn’t to say you have to be a people person or everyone’s best friend to be a leader, but being likable makes you more approachable and people will be more likely to stand behind you. Playing nice with others can also help your office advance as a whole; a cohesive working environment can boost morale and productivity. If your friendly demeanor brightens up the office and you’re a person that colleagues like, trust and come to for help and support, chances are your supervisors will want to keep you around for a while and consider you for roles where you are in the position to lead those around you.

A little kindness in the workplace has many benefits; who ever said that nice guys finish last?!