I have a colleague, let’s call him Mr. X, who seems to be everyone’s disaster. Mr. X never makes a healthy environment at work in the sense that he makes everyone stressful and looses threshold of tolerance. Mr. X is our mutual enemy. Well, bad guys can be found anywhere, even at the workplace. But, have you ever wondered how some people don’t have an enemy in the whole world? Have you also noticed that most people are drawn to them right from the start?
Likeable people seem to bear charmed lives. People are always willing to give them a hand. All they have to do is ask and whatever they want falls into their laps. While most of us, like the rest of humanity, struggle against the odds, these people seem to sail through life and the work place without a scratch. Why do they have it so good?
It is true that unpleasant people also succeed. Unpopular people also make the grade, but the category of people who are liked by everybody have better batting averages. Should this be surprising? If you were given the task of selecting from two candidates with equal abilities, would you not pick the one who is more pleasant and liked by all?
Likeable people do not get to be that way by chance. There are two main reasons that I will elaborate in this article.
First, they work at being likeable. These are things likeable people do in their life, as modified from wikiHow:
- being respectful to everyone
For sure likeable people have self-respect and therefore they are also respectful to everyone they meet. They are never judgmental and dismissive to anybody, making everyone feel welcomed. In return, everyone appreciates and gets along well with these people.
- being polite to everyone
Not everyone can interact nicely with strangers, but likeable people do it so easily because they are not rude. They always ask for favors patiently, respond to others promptly, and always remember to say please and thank you.
- initiating random acts of kindness
Likeable people do things for other people, even if they don’t know those people. They are willing to do selfless thing like pressing the lift button for others, holding a door when going in or out of a building, picking something up for a stranger when he drops it, offering to take a picture for others who are trying to take one, and many more.
- being honest
While being honest, likeable people do it gently. That is why other people never hesitate to ask for advice from them. They are sincere and never fake their attention. They are also very careful in giving truthful comment so that others won’t feel upset or hurt by the truth.
- keeping the promise
Likeable people can follow through on all their commitments because they make full efforts to fulfill their promises. They also communicate their progress to keep their friends and co-workers in the loop about it.
- thinking of own strengths and explore opportunities to show them
Likeable people know what talent or trait that others admire in them. I have a colleague who’s good at filing and she volunteers to show me how to file my archives for DUPAK in a better way. Another friend who is a good singer once got up on our office gathering night and sang several songs to entertain us. And there is also a colleague of mine who is a computer expert that frequently helps and mentors me how to handle my Mac. I always admire those guys!
- always smiling
This simple gesture is likeable people’s mark. Their smiles always improve the mood of everyone around them, triggering the feeling of lightheartedness and happiness. By the way, their smiles are genuine, perhaps because they have happy thoughts or positive feelings.
The second reason and above all for likeable people to charm everyone: they are never confrontational. After a while, being nice becomes second nature to them. This way likeable people let their personalities shine and they earn others’ admiration. In contrast to this, the obnoxious person like Mr. X holds on to his inflated ego and when asked to do a favor, chants his mantra: “Why should I?” My poor colleague, he should know that a person who likes to make others uncomfortable with his actions will earn grudge and others’ negative feelings.
Knowing the two reasons above, is it any wonder then that likeable people succeed in career and life more often than most? By the way, Mr. X is not in good career advancement; I think he reaps what he has sown.
In sum, be likeable: pleasant, polite, respectful, go out of the way to be helpful, and never be confrontational. You will enjoy a better reputation that can strengthen networking, socializing, and career development.