What Is Your Likability Factor?
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” ~ John Wooden
This is not some secret sauce, code or insider information and it’s not complicated. Likability is a powerful, intangible super power to have in our professional toolbox.
In observing how people approach networking for many years, it is clear how powerful the likability factor is to open conversations, doors and new relationships. People are often asking how they can generate more connections, leads and make more sales. Your likability factor is a big key in opening this door.
Truth is likability, trust, character and the experience we create for people and each other are professional absolutes. Likability has won presidential elections, has fueled comebacks and has sold millions of movie and concert tickets, products and books. “Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior, and Inspiring Action,” by Rohit Bhargava begins and ends with the idea that “Personal relationships are the only currency that matters.”
Companies and clients don’t hire or refer you, people do. So your likability factor is the front door that helps get things started. Below are some of the top assets that can boost your likability factor.
How to Boost Your Likability Factor
Smarts, emotional intelligence and being knowledgeable about what we do can apply to carpentry or engineering. Be a student of your industry and know the most you can about it. Don’t try to fudge your way through things because they are “hot.” You’ll be exposed for what you don’t know quickly. Your goal is to be thought of as “the best of” in your field.
Establish your expertise over time and leverage all the results, testimonials and people you touch and help. Publish a book, blog, speak, write, volunteer or take on a project so people can see you in action.
Stick with the truth and it will always set you free. If you screw up or make a mistake, come forward and come clean as soon as you can in the most appropriate way. Take a cue from Martha Stewart, Robert Downey Jr., or Bill Clinton.
Create the most enjoyable experience you can with people, so that they remember you for that. Deliver it whenever you have an opportunity to.
Nothing is worse than negative complainers who always see the glass as half empty. It’s a downer and won’t advance your charisma. Find the silver lining, the ray of light in the clouds and work on your positivity. Good energy is viral.
I would say this one quality has more impact on success today than most. Consistency allows people to know what to expect from us and keeps us top of mind. Even moderate consistency of good work can yield results and work really well.
Meet Generation C, the connected culture and customer. Being digitally and socially connected is valuable capital today. Using influence, clout and community to educate and inspire is a brand asset that can advance not only you, but colleagues, ideas, issues and, yes — sales.
The power of kindness, caring and tolerance never, ever goes out of style, so make it a brand accessory daily. Especially in the Generation C (connectivity) culture and younger generations, it is indispensable, so build character and reputation around this.
Be exactly who you are. Let your personality, sense of humor, attitude and values shine and thrive everyday. Lead with humility, use your assets and minimize your liabilities.
Think about all the people that you like a lot. What are the qualities and assets that you like most about them and why? Your likability factor is a secret sauce and weapon. Lead with it , emulate it and channel it.
Be Knowledgeable- Develop smarts and emotional intelligence in your field.
– Be knowledgeable about your industry and stay up-to-date.
– Strive to be considered “the best” in your field.
Be Credible- Establish expertise over time.
– Leverage results, testimonials, and projects to showcase your skills.
– Consider publishing, blogging, speaking, or volunteering to demonstrate your expertise.
Be Honest- Always stick with the truth.
– Admit mistakes and errors openly and promptly.
– Learn from figures like Martha Stewart, Robert Downey Jr., and Bill Clinton in handling challenges honestly.
Be Pleasant- Strive to create enjoyable experiences for others.
– Aim to be remembered for your positive interactions.
Be Optimistic- Maintain a positive attitude.
– Avoid negative complaining and focus on finding the silver lining.
– Positivity can be contagious and boost your charisma.
Be Consistent- Consistency is a critical quality for success.
– People appreciate knowing what to expect from you.
– Even moderate consistency in your work can yield significant results.
Be Engaged- Embrace digital and social connectivity.
– Use your influence, clout, and community to educate and inspire others.
– This can be a valuable asset in advancing your career and helping your colleagues and causes.
Be Caring- Show kindness, care, and tolerance consistently.
– These qualities are timeless and invaluable in building your character and reputation.
Be Authentic- Embrace your true self in all interactions.
– Let your personality, sense of humor, attitude, and values shine.
– Lead with humility, leverage your strengths, and work on your weaknesses.
– Be inspired by the qualities you admire in others.
The Power of Authenticity
Authenticity is a fundamental aspect of your likability factor. Being genuine and true to yourself can have a profound impact on how others perceive you and the connections you build. Here are some key aspects of authenticity:
Embrace Your True Self: Authenticity begins with self-acceptance. Embrace your unique personality, sense of humor, and values. Don’t try to mimic someone else or put on a facade to fit in.
Lead with Humility: Authentic individuals are humble and approachable. They don’t pretend to have all the answers or act superior to others. Instead, they recognize their strengths and weaknesses.
Use Your Assets: Authenticity doesn’t mean hiding your strengths; it means using them in a sincere way. Leverage your talents and skills to make a positive impact on others.
Minimize Your Liabilities: While embracing your true self, also be mindful of your shortcomings. Work on improving areas where you may fall short, but don’t pretend to be perfect.
Build Trust: Authenticity builds trust. When people see that you are genuine and consistent in your actions and words, they are more likely to trust you. Trust is a cornerstone of likability.
Connect on a Deeper Level: Authentic interactions lead to deeper connections. When you are authentic, people are more likely to open up to you, share their thoughts and feelings, and form meaningful relationships.
Stay True Over Time: Authenticity is not a one-time act; it’s a way of life. Consistently being yourself in various situations and over time is what truly defines authenticity.
Inspire Others: Your authenticity can inspire others to be themselves as well. When people see you living authentically and reaping the benefits, they may be encouraged to do the same.
The Influence of Gratitude
Gratitude is a force that can greatly impact your likability factor and your overall well-being. When you practice gratitude, you not only enhance your personal relationships but also your professional ones. Here are some ways in which gratitude can influence your likability:
Express Thankfulness: Make it a habit to express gratitude to others. When someone helps you or does something kind, say thank you sincerely. It shows that you appreciate and value their actions.
Acknowledge Contributions: In a team or collaborative setting, acknowledge the contributions of your colleagues. Recognize their hard work and efforts, and give credit where it’s due. This fosters a positive and appreciative atmosphere.
Gratitude in Networking: When networking or building new relationships, expressing gratitude can leave a lasting impression. If someone provides you with valuable insights or introductions, let them know how much you appreciate their support.
Enhance Your Reputation: Grateful individuals are often seen as considerate and thoughtful. Your reputation as someone who values and acknowledges others’ contributions can make you more likable in professional circles.
Build Stronger Connections: Gratitude strengthens connections. When you express gratitude, it deepens the bond between you and others. People are more likely to want to engage with and help those who appreciate them.
Cultivate Positivity: Gratitude is closely tied to positivity. When you focus on what you’re thankful for, you radiate positivity, which can be infectious and attractive to others.
Overcome Challenges: In challenging situations, a gratitude mindset can help you maintain composure and find solutions. Instead of dwelling on setbacks, focus on what you can learn from them and be grateful for the growth opportunities they present.
Practice Self-Reflection: Regularly reflecting on the things you’re grateful for can keep you grounded and remind you of the positive aspects of your life and career. This positivity can be evident in your interactions with others.
Generosity of Spirit: Gratitude often leads to a generous spirit. When you’re grateful for what you have, you’re more inclined to share your knowledge, resources, and support with others, which can enhance your likability.
Express Thankfulness- Make expressing gratitude a habit.
– Sincerely thank others for their kindness or assistance.
Acknowledge Contributions- Recognize and appreciate the efforts and contributions of colleagues and team members.
– Give credit where it’s due to foster a positive atmosphere.
Gratitude in Networking- Use gratitude when building new relationships and connections.
– Show appreciation for valuable insights and support received during networking efforts.
Enhance Your Reputation- Being grateful can enhance your reputation as a considerate and appreciative individual.
– Others are more likely to view you favorably in professional circles.
Build Stronger Connections- Gratitude deepens the bonds between you and others.
– People are more willing to engage with and help those who express appreciation.
Cultivate Positivity- Gratitude is linked to a positive mindset.
– Focusing on what you’re thankful for can radiate positivity and attract others to your attitude.
Overcome Challenges- A gratitude mindset can help you maintain composure and find solutions in challenging situations.
– Instead of dwelling on setbacks, focus on learning opportunities and personal growth.
Practice Self-Reflection- Regular reflection on gratitude can keep you grounded and highlight the positive aspects of your life and career.
– This positivity can be evident in your interactions with others.
Generosity of Spirit- Gratitude often leads to a generous spirit.
– When you’re thankful, you’re more inclined to share knowledge, resources, and support with others.
– Enhancing your likability by being generous and supportive of those around you.
The Art of Active Listening
Active listening is a crucial skill that can significantly boost your likability factor in both personal and professional settings. By mastering this skill, you can become someone whom others genuinely enjoy interacting with. Here’s why active listening matters:
Demonstrate Genuine Interest: When you actively listen to someone, you show that you value their thoughts and opinions. This genuine interest in what others have to say is a likable quality.
Enhance Understanding: Active listening allows you to fully comprehend the message being conveyed. This not only prevents misunderstandings but also enables you to respond thoughtfully and appropriately.
Build Trust: Trust is the foundation of likability. When people see that you are attentive and focused on their words, they are more likely to trust you and feel comfortable around you.
Empathize Effectively: Active listening helps you empathize with others. By understanding their perspective and feelings, you can respond with empathy, which fosters strong connections.
Minimize Miscommunication: Miscommunication can lead to conflicts and strained relationships. Active listening minimizes the chances of miscommunication by ensuring that both parties are on the same page.
Encourage Open Communication: When people see that you are a good listener, they are more inclined to share their thoughts and concerns with you. This open communication can lead to better collaboration and problem-solving.
Reduce Tension: Active listening can defuse tense situations. By giving people an opportunity to express themselves, you can help ease their frustrations and find common ground.
Remember Details: Active listening helps you remember important details about others, such as their preferences, concerns, and goals. This attention to detail can make your interactions more meaningful.
Ask Thoughtful Questions: When you actively listen, you can ask thoughtful questions that show you’ve been paying attention. This demonstrates your engagement and interest in the conversation.
Show Respect: Active listening is a sign of respect. It conveys that you respect others’ opinions and value their contributions, which is highly likable behavior.
Learn and Grow: Active listening allows you to continuously learn from others. You can gain valuable insights, knowledge, and perspectives that can benefit your personal and professional development.
Friendly Person Photo via Shutterstock