Enhance your likeability level

1513 reads

No matter what business you think you are in, you are in the people business.  And the more people like you, the better and easier life becomes.

It's that simple.  Likeability can get you where you want to go - whether it's a promotion at work, election to a political office, building a wonderful circle of friends ... it applies to nearly every facet of life.

Likeability is crucial in the sales game because people buy from people they like.  People like people who are genuine, pleasant, sincere, easy to talk with and friendly. 

You can't please everyone, as the saying goes, but you'll do better on the job - and in your life - by being likable.  Since most of us spend more than a third of our lives at work, it's important to be likeable, which will allow us to be more successful. 

"Likeability is a skill - something we all universally can work on getting better at," wrote Robit Bhargava in his book, "Likeonomics:  The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior and Inspiring Action."  

Bhargava focusses on five main principles for businesses to be liked, and he uses the acronym TRUST - Truth, Relevance, Unselfishness, Simplicity and Timing.

Don't confuse likeability with niceness.  Nice people will try to make you feel better and protect your feelings, but likeable people tell the truth.  A perfect example is Steve Jobs, a well-known tough-love truth-teller.  He was blunt and transparent, which instilled trust among those who worked with him.  And the people closest to him were passionately devoted to him because they knew he would be straight with them.

That holds true for co-workers and customers alike.  Your customers have easy access to plenty of information about you, your products and services, comparative pricing, and your reputation.  Trust is fundamental to being likeable.

Simplicity is critical to developing likeability.  Using plain language helps your message to be understood.  Big words might sound impressive, but if they leave your audience wondering if they know what you were talking about . . . well, there's not much to like about that. 

When co-workers and friends enjoy your conversation and companionship, they'll be more eager to help you achieve your professional and personal goals.  You can boost your overall "likeability" by focusing on these areas:

  • Listen to people.  No one likes to be ignored.  Pay attention when friends and co-workers are talking to show that you are interested in what they have to say.  When you recognize and acknowledge other people's feelings, you are letting them know that you care about them. 
  • Give compliments.  Tell people when you like something they've done.  Honest praise and appreciation are music to everyone's ears.  Even a simple "Good morning" can do wonders.
  • Take an interest in your co-workers' and customers' lives.  I always try to find out what turns people on - family, hobbies, vacations, goals and so on.  You can't talk business all the time.  You might be amazed by the fascinating ways they spend their time. 
  • Participate in work-related activities.  Even though you've already spent 40 hours or more at work, make an appearance at after-work activities or weekend events where possible.  Getting to know your co-workers away from the office often enhances relationships at work.
  • Use people's names.  We all like the sound of our own name.  Use names often to show that you know and value the person you're talking to.
  • Ask for help.  Most people want to help, and if you ask politely, they'll enjoy knowing that you respect their talents.  By the same token, always help others when they ask you for assistance.
  • Admit your weaknesses and mistakes.  Don't be afraid to show some vulnerability.  No one's perfect, and pretending to be will usually alienate people.  Honesty is not only the best policy, it's likeability insurance.  People respect those who aren't afraid to acknowledge their limitations.  
  • Share your passions.  Passion can be contagious.  Friends and co-workers will respond to your goals if you express them sincerely and enthusiastically.  You might discover that others have similar dreams.
  • Show a sense of humor.  You don't have to try to be a stand-up comedian, but be willing to laugh at yourself and your mistakes.

And if you need a little boost after you put all those strategies to the test, here's one last idea that I've heard works wonders:  clean out the office refrigerator!  You will immediately move up the likeability scale!  

Mackay's Moral:  Improve your likeability, improve your life.

 

 

Trending

129
adamgrant's picture

Most Personality Quizzes Are Junk Science. I Found One That Isn’t.

Most Personality Quizzes Are Junk Science. I Found One That Isn't."The MBTI is astrology for nerds." Say it with me again: personality types are a myth, traits are on a continuum, and the major dimensions include extravert-introvert, agreeable-
166
changethis's picture

What If Sellers Behaved as Leaders?

“It is time we start making a shift. Research shows you can make more sales by abandoning sales-y behaviors buyers resist and replacing them with leadership behaviors buyers desire. Sellers do extraordinary things when they stop pushing people to
220
adamgrant's picture

Is Curiosity As Good at Predicting Children’s Reading, Math Success as Self-Control? Study Says Yes

The joy of discovery matters as much as self-control, and matters even more for low-income children. We need to encourage kids to ask novel questions, not just give familiar answers.Ever since the landmark "marshmallow test" highlighted the
179
danielhpink's picture

PINKCAST: This is when to quit your job

Should you stay or should you go? After a few years at the same job, many of us begin asking that question.In the latest Pinkcast, former Wall Street analyst and venture capitalist Whitney Johnson offers the answer. You can watch the 136-second
190
changethis's picture

The Speed Trap: When Taking Your Time (Really) Matters

“Speed-for-speed’s-sake is about the most counterproductive* approach imaginable. (*I use counterproductive because it’s impolite to use “stupid”—which is what I really believe.)While we must indeed evolve and experiment rapidly, the process of
285
adamgrant's picture

How to Pick a Career (That Actually Fits You)

This is a post about something I’ve been wanting to write about forever: careers. Society tells us a lot of things about what we should want in a career and what the possibilities are—which is weird because I’m pretty sure society knows very little
223
danielhpink's picture

WHAT TO LISTEN TO: Some audiobooks are more equal than others

“Mr. Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the popholes.”So begins Animal Farm, George Orwell’s classic novella. I’ve read Animal Farm many times. But now, for the first time, I’m
218
changethis's picture

Beyond Business Results: Achieving Sustainable Success

“For most of my career, I focused on my next professional opportunity rather than on my present situation. I was committed to serving patients and to helping my company meet its goals; I was always looking down the line to what was coming next. What
239
danielhpink's picture

WHAT TO WATCH: The Happiest Guy in the World

Two decades ago, Mario Salcedo retired from his job and went on a cruise. He never came back. Mario wasn’t lost at sea. For more than 20 years, he's been a permanent resident on Royal Caribbean Cruises. You read that right. “Super Mario” has