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How to Be Liked at Work (or Anywhere)

These 6 simple rules virtually guarantee that the people you work with will want you around.

Want coworkers and customers to enjoy being in your company? Just follow these absurdly simple rules.

1. Be curious about people. Likeable people are typically genuinely interested in others, enthusiastic, and eager to help.  If you're curious about people, it's much easier to build rapport.

2. Make a good first impression. The opening minute of any new interaction creates an impression that is difficult to change.  Dress appropriately, smile, look people in the eye, and have an appropriately firm handshake.

3. Listen more than you talk. If you find yourself talking about your weekend, your golf game, your family or your job, then you’re probably talking too much and not listening nearly enough.

4. Get people's names right.  When meeting someone for the first time, spend the mental energy to remember his or her name. Be fanatic about pronunciation, especially with unusual names. You should care–and it should show.

5. Remember personal details.  Keep track of anything personal that co-workers or customers reveal, like birthdays and the names of family members.  Find ways to show that you remembered what they decided to reveal.

6. Only speak positively about others.  Whatever the temptation, avoid criticizing anyone. This includes competitors, politicians, celebrities ... and especially other co-workers. People shy away from trash talkers.

The above is based on a conversation with Michael St. Lawrence, author of the classic sales book If You’re Not Out Selling, You’re Being Outsold. If you found this post helpful, click one of the "like" buttons or sign up for the Sales Source "insider" newsletter.

Last updated: Feb 14, 2012


Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.

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