Do you want more people to listen to you, to follow you, to believe in you? Try being more likeable. People are more willing to give their time, their ear and possibly their loyalty to people they like.
Have you noticed some people really don’t give two hoots if people like them? These people know what they want, what they believe, what they know, where they are going and don’t see a need to be liked. Perhaps that is because they see people who place such a heavy emphasis on being liked, they come across as weak and unfocused.
The desire to be liked can be taken to an extreme, but when done with integrity, with heart and with a genuine caring for others, the likeability factor is hugely powerful.
Being likeable does not mean:
- Agreeing with everybody or everything. It is possible to be liked and still have individual ideas, perspectives and beliefs. It’s perfectly ok to voice differing opinions and to disagree … respectfully. Likeable people recognize that not everyone thinks the same way they do, prioritizes the same way they do or want the same thing they do.
- Giving up your expertise. Some people feel they have to hide their expertise in order to be liked; they are concerned they will come across as “know-it-alls” if they share their knowledge. Likeable people recognize the value their knowledge provides, they freely share their knowledge, skills and expertise, but not in a high-handed way. Likeable people don’t disagree by saying “You’re wrong and I’m going to tell you why.” Instead, they ask “Have you thought of this?” Likeable people also recognize and respect the valuable knowledge, skills and expertise others bring to the table.
- Focusing entirely on others. It is not necessary to cater to others needs, goals or desires, at the expense of your own, in order to be liked. In my opinion, I think that approach backfires. Sure, you may feel needed, but that is not the same thing as liked or respected. Likeable people offer and provide assistance where possible. Likeable people also recognize when they need help and are not too proud to ask for it.
To me, being likeable does mean:
- Being true to yourself
- Recognizing the right of others to be true to themselves
- Respect for others
… And sometimes, agreeing to disagree.
What do you think?