“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion.” — Dale Carnegie
We all want to be liked. Google how to be more likable, and the evidence is there—you’ll come up with plenty of self-help advice to answer your need.
Because the majority of people spend most of their time at work, how to be more likable at work is a popular focus for improvement. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest American Time Use survey, employed adults spend nearly twice as much time working as they do at a leisure activity.
Start by being more likable at work with these 5 areas of self-improvement. Based on the vast amount of internet advice, I’ve distilled it into 5 categories centered on personal characteristics.
1. Be a Better Listener: Be Deferential
Listen without interrupting. It’s annoying when someone butts in or rushes you, or attempt to compete with you in conversations as if they have to top your story or one-up you in some way.
Deferential listening involves more than just being quiet while others speak. It requires conversation reinforcements, questions, and most of all, being present. Make a point of not looking at your phone or letting your mind wander, and place your full focus on the person talking.
By being deferential and listening attentively, you’re creating an authentic bridge that will allow you to connect with others. And eventually they will like you for it.
2. Be Willing to Get Personal: Be Vulnerable
Know when to take things to a personal level and share what’s really happening in your life. Without being overdone, sharing is a way to communicate trust and break down walls, making emotional connection a possibility.
By being honest about yourself, you’re showing a vulnerability that makes liking you easier than if you always attempt to show how impressive you are.
Admit to mistakes and failings, show the real you. People will gravitate to your honesty.
3. Be a Positive Force: Be Complimentary
One way to practice being more positive is to find something to compliment people on. It’s hard to appear negative when you’re focused on making compliments to people.
Instead of finding what’s wrong with a situation, use the same positive energy to figure out what can be done to make it better. Tell someone every day how fabulous they are and why. Most of us are so fixated inwards that it requires simply being aware of your surroundings to find something to remark positively on. They’ll not only appreciate you for it, they will be more likely to listen to you when you do bring up a negative point.
4. Be Concerned About Others: Be Genuine
Ask questions about others and give them a chance to talk about themselves. By prompting people with honest questions about their lives to further your understanding, you show you’re genuinely interested in them and making a deeper connection.
The other side to revealing your vulnerability is displaying a unique concern for others. By not always settling for small talk and superficial exchange, you’re opening the door to a stronger relationship, one where you’re far more likable.
5. Be Warm and Fuzzy: Be Sincere
Don’t underestimate the power of touch. Social touching on the upper arm, shoulder, or hand can influence how others behave as well as make you appear friendlier and more attractive when done right.
This means it is done casually and sincerely. Touch can break down the perceived barrier of distance and and decrease the natural barrier of emotional resistance.
Out of these 5 personal characteristics, sincerity is the most difficult to adopt with artifice, so don’t bother doing this if you can’t muster up real solicitude. If people can smell a rat, they can sense it even better with a false touch.
Of course there are many ways to show sincerity. All of them will help you be more likable. There is one single thing you can do to influence the practice of all five characteristics listed here and be more likable. It’s very simple.
People will lower their guards when you smile as you greet them with a “good morning,” leave them with a “have a great day!” and take the initiative to acknowledge them.