Having the likability factor is not as easy as it seems. I mean, most of us can barely muster the enthusiasm to put half a smile on our face at 7:00 a.m. enough to say good morning to our next-door neighbor.
Now the field of positive psychology is telling us that we have to show up to work with an attitude of gratitude and urging us to think with more humility if our coworkers are to like us. Really?
Because the most likable people, as it turns out, display positive traits that are magnets for attracting great connections and influencing others.
If you follow suit, such attributes--as counterintuitive as they seem--will impact how you communicate, and point the way to more interpersonal effectiveness.
Here are nine likable traits I've seen, learned, and try my darndest to apply daily in my business and personal life. It does make a difference.
1. Display raw authenticity.
Likable people are true to their character regardless of the outside pressures or temptations to act otherwise. They are willing to accept the consequences of their actions, or what they consider to be right. They avoid sugarcoating things or sweeping things under the rug; they speak with raw authenticity and emotional honesty when sharing the good, bad, and ugly.
2. Showcase a humble spirit.
A person who doesn't raise herself above others is someone who can be trusted. She will gain the favor of others because her humility is not only wise and honorable, but it leads to great knowledge and good judgment.
3. Be open to feedback.
While some people see only one option, likable people take the higher road to listen to advice and counsel from different opinions and perspectives. They leverage wise feedback to keep themselves out of trouble and steer themselves in the right direction.
4. Be willing to change and grow.
Highly likable people don't stand for remaining stagnant. They break the cycle of behavior that damages relationships by exposing their blind spots, acquiring new knowledge, and taking massive action to change that behavior with reckless abandon. As a result, their likability factor goes through the roof as more like-minded people join their networks.
5. Rise above the drama.
At work, you'll find people with political agendas pulling people in different directions, and others instigating trouble with unmanageable emotions. Likable people rise above it all--slander, dissension, disputes, gossip, finger-pointing--all things that will raise your blood pressure and leave you in a reactionary stress mode. They are cool-tempered instead of quick-tempered, patient and slow to anger, and wise enough to keep calm and understand the circumstances around them.
6. Watch what you speak.
So much conflict, confusion, and misunderstanding comes from the words we choose to speak. In managing conflict or pushing for an idea, likable people are keenly aware of their emotions before they speak them into words. They choose their words carefully and don't talk out of both sides of their mouths.
7. Relate to others with empathy.
Likable people are keen on connecting to people's problems and are interested enough to try to understand their feelings so they can help them in whatever way possible. Likable people are also tolerant of their coworkers' weaknesses and don't demand perfection--they get where you are and rally to support you in your journey.
8. Be grateful.
Science has found that an attitude of gratitude is critical to happiness and wellbeing. Ever been around someone who is never satisfied with what they have or where they are in life? Talk about draining! No matter what happens, likable people are able to access gratitude and thankfulness for the blessings that come their way--however big or small.
9. Show interest in others.
This is what initiates the best conversations--learning about what other people do, how they do it, why they do it. People love to talk about themselves, so be the person who shows up with the humble gesture of "I want to learn from you." That's what the most likable people do.