Likeable people tend to have that effect on us. From the way they respond to situations to the way in which they carry themselves, they make it easy for us to respect and appreciate them. They make us want to be on their team.
In the workplace, likeability is incredibly important. Whether you're managing a group of people or looking to work your way up through the ranks, your ability to form positive relationships will make it that much easier.
Want to be more likeable? Try these seven things today.
Remember people's names
"I'm horrible with names."
It's a phrase we've all heard - or used ourselves - a million times. Trouble is, this often signals to people that you simply don't care.
Considering the value of introductions in the world of business - it's a starting point for turning strangers into acquaintances, and acquaintances into customers - this is a habit worth shaking.
So while there are a number of factors that could be preventing you from registering and remembering someone's name upon meeting them, here are some of our favorite tricks for combatting them:
Repeat it. Ever play the "name game" in school? The one where you say your name and then recall the names of those who went before you? Studies show that students can recall 75% of their classmates' names after participating in the game for just 30 minutes. Point being, try repeating the name immediately after the person tells you to make it stick.
Make a connection. When it comes to new information, research has shown that our ability to store information in our long-term memory is influenced by the connections we're able -- or unable -- to make to that information. So whether the person you just met has the same name as your college roommate or sounds like the name of your favorite TV show character, making an effort to draw a parallel will help you in the long run.
Offer an introduction. Networking your way around a room? It's easy to become overwhelmed when you're meeting a bunch of people at once. Before you let someone's name slip away from you, make it a point to introduce them to one of your friends or other new acquaintances.
Mind your manners
Likeability has a lot to do with the interactions people have - or don't have - with you. If you're one of those people who treats their phone like a third arm, it's likely that you're closing yourself off from engaging in a lot of those meaningful interactions.
So while it may be tempting to Instagram your lunch when you're out with friend of colleague, pulling out your phone isn't always appropriate. In fact, 88% of people feel that whipping out your phone at the table is generally not a "cool" thing to do.
Think about your favorite restaurant for a minute. I'm willing to bet that you frequent it so often because you trust that you're going to have a great meal. In other words, your loyalty is a direct reflection of the restaurant's ability to deliver a consistent experience, right?
As humans, we have a need for internal consistency. We want our attitudes, ideas, and beliefs to align and make sense. Therefore, when it comes time to make a judgment call about someone's character, we aim to identify that sense of dependability.
You see, consistency provides a sense of comfort. When we see someone deliver great work or a positive attitude day after day, it becomes easier for us to trust them. This is something that both management and potential customers look for when determining who they want to do business with.
Becoming more likeable relies heavily on your ability to make connections with people. However, in order to do so, the conversation needs to lend itself to a little give and take.
Need help coming up with a few go-to ice breakers? Check out this awesome list of conversation starters to try out at your next networking event.
"If you see a friend without a smile, give them one of yours."
This was my mom's high school yearbook quote, and a valuable piece of advice for anyone looking to build positive relationships with others. This is because our emotional expressions, while often overlooked, are used by those around us to build perceptions.
In fact, people who smile appear more likeable, courteous, and competent.
If that's not reason enough to smile, two Swedish studies from 2002 and 2011 confirmed that other people’s smiles suppress the control we usually have over our facial muscles, causing us to smile. Talk about insta-likeability ...
Do good deeds
When's the last time you did something nice for someone? Was it unsolicited?
Good deeds influence our well being. They make us happy. And happiness is contagious.
"There are a lot of positive social consequences to being kind: other people appreciate you, they're grateful, and they might reciprocate," explains Lyubomirsky.
Need some inspiration? Here are a few "random acts of kindness" you can carry out in your office:
-Buy the person that sits next to you a coffee
-Send positive feedback to a team member
-Leave cookies in the kitchen
-Tape an inspirational quote to the mirror in the bathroom
-Write an appreciative note for the receptionist
-Give someone a compliment in the elevator
Our ability to detect, understand, and feel another's emotions plays a huge part in the way we form connections and build relationships. It also influences the way people perceive us -- both personally and professionally.
Empathy is something we value, as it's rooted in understanding. And the more we understand one another, the easier it is to relate and communicate.
If empathy is something you struggle with, try to keep these tips in mind:
Listen. Before you chime in, allow the other person to make their point entirely. Sometimes we only hear half the story, which causes us to act or respond in a way that doesn't make sense.
Keep an open mind. Rather than concerning yourself with always being right, do your best to remove any bias. This will help you see the situation for what it is, not what it isn't.
Ask questions. If you don't fully understand where someone is coming from, ask them to clarify. Sometimes empathy can be achieved through asking questions that reveal more context.