I used to think that my success in life was dependent upon my natural talent and on my level of education, career accomplishments and personal achievements. I figured that by doing well, particularly at work, I would be praised and would go bounding up the ladder of success with no obstacles in my way.
I was wrong.
A big contributing factor in climbing the ladder of success, especially the career ladder, is how likable we are — how much people warm to us and how they perceive us. You can be among the most talented employees in your company, but if no one likes you and you can’t foster teamwork and a sense of camaraderie, management is not likely to see you as top-level leadership material.
People who are affable and easy to like are far more likely to be recognized for their accomplishments and will have a much better shot at being promoted. Bear in mind that being likable doesn’t mean being a push-over and it certainly doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Fortunately for me, I’m easy to get along with, so I speak from experience — I saw a stark contrast with how I was treated in comparison to other employees who were not as genial or well-liked.
Luckily being “likable” is actually something you can work on and cultivate into a natural part of your personal demeanor.
The folks at Business Insider recently put together a fantastic infographic on “How to be Exceptionally Likeable.” Consider these suggestions of habits and traits if you want to win over people at work:
1. Develop a positive mental attitude and let it be felt by others
2. Speak in a carefully disciplined, friendly tone
3. Pay close attention to someone speaking to you
4. Maintain your composure in all circumstances
5. Be patient
6. Keep an open mind
7. Smile when speaking with others
8. Know that not all your thoughts need to be expressed
9. Don’t Procrastinate
10. Engage in at least one good deed a day
11. Find a lesson in failure rather than brood over it
12. Act as if the person you’re speaking to is the most important person
13. Praise others in a genuine way
14. Have someone you trust point out your flaws
Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do all of these things right off the bat. Instead, pick one or two each week and work toward cultivating those habits and traits until they come naturally to you. Of course, if you happen to be naturally shy, some might be more difficult — but we should always remember that being shy doesn’t prevent us from being personable, considerate and caring people.