Let’s face it, you don’t have to be likeable to be successful in business. We all know a person or two that are rude and impolite, yet very successful. On the other hand, isn’t it much more pleasant to conduct business when you appear likeable to the people you deal with?
What is it that makes a person likable?
• Likeable people seem genuinely glad to meet you. Their nonverbal communication is developed. They maintain eye contact, smile and frown when you do. Likable people take their cues from you.
• Likeable people first look for the things that you have in common, rather than things that hold you apart.
• Likable people are not afraid to show vulnerability. They don’t look to one-up you in business or life. On the contrary, they let you win. They are confident enough to be able to show vulnerability.
• Likable people use the power of touch selectively. Even though a touch can convey a lot of emotions and bestow trust, they know how to read people and use that power at the right times. One of the first things recommended for business people who travel to a foreign country is to learn the etiquette of that region, as far as greeting and touching are concerned.
• Likable people can easily laugh at themselves. They a willing to admit their mistakes because they are not afraid to look silly. They are not offended to be the butt of the joke and laugh with everyone else. When you own your mistakes people won’t laugh at you, they’ll laugh with you.
• Likable people are good at letting you talk. They ask open ended questions and listen to your answers. They ask for your opinion because they seem to sincerely want to know what you think.
• Likable people treat other people with respect, not matter what their position is. If you really want to know how a person is, take him/her to lunch and see how they interact with the waiter.
• Likable people don’t name drop. They may know cool people, but they don’t brag about it. They don’t look up for an opening and divert the conversation to their important friends. If the relationship becomes deeper, you will hear about those friends. Name dropping leaves the impression that you are not good enough by yourself, you need a worthy (famous) back up.
• Likable people are great with names. They remember names and even small details. Of course, there are those that are blessed with phenomenal memory. Most of us don’t, but there are techniques to increase your memory.
• Likable people don’t talk too much. They already know what they know, but they really want to know what you think about it. That makes us feel important and collaborative.