Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Being liked in the workplace can bring us a feeling of belonging and trust – and also some great secondary benefits.
When we are liked by our co-workers, it has the obvious impact of making us feel that we belong to something. It improves our confidence and encourages us to lower our defences. What’s more, when we are liked, it incites other people to take interest in us, get to know us, and then consider us for new opportunities. Here are six ways in which you can increase your ‘likeability’ and become more liked:
- Use humor. Humor breaks the ice. It’s not a case of telling jokes – perhaps the opposite – instead it’s about seeing the funny side of situations and sharing funny stories. When you use humor, you smile more and you are perceived as warmer and more approachable. Humor can also demonstrate intelligence and emotional intelligence too. Whatever you do, don’t use humor to criticize or make someone the brunt of jokes (this is a form of bullying.) I like to use humor – I can normally poke fun at myself a little and it helps form new bonds.
- Be human. We are all human – we all make mistakes and we all go to the bathroom. Show your ‘human side’ and other people will warm to you. If all they see is your ‘serious face’ then you won’t create a congenial environment. Talk about the things you’re concerned about, worried about or excited about. Showing emotion is fine in most circumstances. However, don’t go into too much personal detail and maintain dignity and self-respect! I share a little of myself with the people I meet – normally about something amusing my son said at the weekend.
- Be humble. Nobody likes a smart-ass or a show-off. Bragging turns people away. Instead let your achievements and skills speak for themselves. Early on in my career I guess I was a bit of a show-off, because I wanted to impress people and be liked. Schoolboy error. I discovered, though, that it had the opposite effect.
- Be constructively helpful. Be helpful to others to become liked. Be ‘constructively’ helpful to win respect. What I mean by constructive is to help other people help themselves. Sometimes, this involves holding people to account – perhaps also known as ‘tough love’. If a colleague isn’t hitting the mark, then tell them and help them achieve their objectives. In my job, I often have to give people support when they need it the most – and it takes courage to ‘hold the mirror up’ to them to help them understand where they are not effective. But I always do this with some ideas about how the problem can be overcome.
- Be collaborative rather than hostile. In any situation of dis-agreement or mis-alignment, you can choose to fight the ‘other side’ or fight alongside them. Drawing the battle-lines between somebody won’t help you to be liked, but declaring a common enemy (such as a deadline or a competitor) and fighting them together will. In times of potential conflict, look for the common ground and shared objective and align yourselves to it. I use a phrase often – ‘I want you to be inside the tent pissing out rather than outside the tent pissing in!’
- Like other people. If you don’t have the inclination or capacity to like other people, how can this be reciprocated? To gain something, you have to give something. What applies to Liking in Facebook applied to the Real World. I like to like people – and I find that when I make effort to give someone an opportunity to be liked, it works the other way.
What’s YOUR Secret for Being Likeable?
Share how YOU become liked by your co-workers by leaving a comment or starting a discussion in my Community Forums.