Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Most of us like to be liked, right? When we know we’re liked, we know we have been accepted into the fold and that we will likely be offered help and support when we need it. Work, in general, is easier that way. Here are some tips on how to be liked in your workplace.
- Be Nice – it might sound simple (too simple!) but being nice to people really is a great way to become liked. It doesn’t take much – it’s often straightforward courtesy and a kind word, but I’ll bet we have ALL know people who haven’t endeared themselves towards us by not being nice
- Be Interesting – especially if you’re a shy person – always have some topics of conversation prepared so you can start conversations with people in those first few seconds when you’re sussing each other out. If all else fails, talk about the weather! At the very least, have a list of questions that you hold in your head that you will always be able ask, no matter who they are. Nothing is worse than being tongue-tied when you meet someone for the first time (at least it feels that way at the time!)
- Be Upfront – people generally like to know where they stand with other people. What drives most people mad is when a colleagues behavior is unpredictable, or unexpected. My advice is to be as honest with people as you can, but retain respect, tact and courtesy. If you are shy, then tell people… in my experience, most shy people come across snooty and aloof without meaning to; that is, until it’s know that they’re shy
- Nod and Mirror – no, this isn’t a 101 on driving, it’s a lesson in building rapport through body language. When you’re in conversation with someone, demonstrate you’re listening by the occasional nod and perhaps a question to check that you’ve understood what they’re saying. The other thing to do is to to mirror the other person’s stance and posture – and do it naturally and subtely or it would look like a parody and you might end up with a smack on the nose
- Involve Others – A sure fire way of becoming popular is to invite colleagues to be involved in something either in or out of the the workplace. E.g. a project, a meeting, or a club. Use your imagination, although make sure the invitation is justifiable and not just a ‘jolly’. And if you receive a rejection, don’t take it personally or harbor ill feelings! One last thing, make sure that any out of work invites are socially appropriate too. Extending invites to a live sex show isn’t, perhaps, the right thing in most countries. Equally, an invite to ‘Traction Engine Maintenance Fest’ won’t win many friends too
- Do Quality Work – Yeah, this is what we’re paid for. Having said that, all of us can often get away with lower quality if it isn’t in the eyes of ‘The Management’ – yet the results of our work often impact colleagues downstream. Most of us are in a ‘value-chain’ in our workplace, so poor quality we produce as an output goes into somebody elses work as an input. There is no better way to cheese someone off than giving them poor quality materials to work with
- Support Others – being liked often happens quickly, but for the people who are more stalwart in their affection (tougher nuts to crack) then a way of breaking through is to support them. It doesn’t need to be direct (i.e. hand-holding/spoon-feeding, which is another way of cheesing someone off if it isn’t asked for.) Support can come in many guises, e.g. a good word about them in someone else’s ear; forwarding them an email that you’ve received which would help; offering to take on a duty to ease workload, etc.
Here’s a great article on Andrew Rondeau’s blog, Great Management: How To Get People To Like You At Work In 3 Simple Steps