Do you have to be likeable to be successful?

It’s been proven that likeable people are more successful. They get promoted and rewarded more, compared to those who are less likeable. For example, in sales they sell more, they get more people to agree with them, they just get so much more out of life. How come?

Well maybe you are already one of these people. But maybe you wish you could be like these people. Well guess what, you can! Being likeable is not a gift, it’s a skill and anyone can learn how to be it. Not sure? Consider this research.

Columbia University in America found that success at work is not about what or who you know, it’s about popularity. The study showed that popular workers were seen as trustworthy, motivated, serious, decisive and hard working. They were recommended for promotion and pay increases considerably more often than their less popular colleagues. These were seen as arrogant and manipulative, with promotion and pay increases withheld no matter what their experience or qualifications.

Another example is that Doctors have been shown to give more time, care and attention to patients that they like. A study at the University of Leeds concluded that in a study of likeable and unlikable parents bringing in their children, the likeable ones children received better health care and were more likely to get a follow up appointment.

So how do you become more likeable? Well there are 4 key areas to focus on according to Tim Sanders, the ex Yahoo executive, now world renowned sales and leadership speaker.

  1. Friendliness – your ability to be open to others and to be friendly, warm and welcoming
  2. Relevance – your ability to connect with others interests, give them want they want and need
  3. Empathy – your ability to recognise things in others, acknowledge them, understand how they feel and think
  4. Realness – your ability to be genuine, authentic, demonstrate integrity

Sounds straight forward. But how do you do it? What are the things you can go and do now?

Well how about you try these things:

Be positive; this isn’t about being soft and fluffy, it’s about reframing those things that happen that are hard or difficult. Look for solutions and answers, look to move forwards and help others to do also.

Don’t judge; everyone is doing the best they can do, so accept that and be respectful.

Leave your ego at the door; don’t show off and have to have the last word, put others first and be humble.

Expose yourself; hang on a minute, not like that! Spend time with people, the more you can the better. When you’re with people, give them your undivided attention, focus on them and them only. If you’re with them, be with them, not thinking about everything else you need to be doing.

Give these a go, what have you got to lose? I think you’ll notice a big difference.

Likeability isn’t luck, chance and magic. Likeability can be created, it just takes a bit of time, effort and thought. Try it, what are you waiting for?!


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