Likeability is at the heart of impact and influence. The more someone likes you, the more likely they are to say ‘yes’ to you – in virtually any situation.
1 Make the most of yourself
Most of us will never be in the running for Mister Universe or Miss World, so it’s grossly unfair that one of the components of likeability is physical attractiveness. You are judged on your appearance. So find as many ways as possible to improve on what you’ve been given. Brush your hair. Iron your clothes. Look after your hygene. And dress to impress.
2 Be friendly
It may be obvious, but it’s still true – people will be more disposed to like you if you’re friendly. Smile – and others will often smile back. Be warm and open and others will respond the same way.
3 “We’re so like each other”
Most people like people who are like them, so make a point of searching for common ground. Maybe you’re from the same region. Or have similar interests. Perhaps you both have school age children. Or occupations that match or complement. Finding things you have in common with others will increase the chances of them liking you.
4 Make yourself emotionally attractive
When it comes to being likeable, emotional attractiveness is arguably the most important thing. People usually warm to those who display emotion – as long as they don’t do so excessively.
5 ‘So tell me about yourself’
When you take an interest in others you come across as more likeable. People feel valued and important when you ask them about themselves and their lives. So be curious to find out what makes them tick. Ask questions without being intrusive. It’s one of the simplest ways to improve your personal impact. Listen attentively and actively, and be a ‘word detective’ – picking up on ‘leads’ in what they say will guide you in what to ask next.
6 Lighten up
We all know people who take themselves too seriously. They agonise over small decisions, act as if the world revolves around them, blow things up out of all proportion, and when things don’t go their way they have a sense of humour failure. Sound familiar? It can be hard for other people to handle if you have a tendency to behave like this. As the saying goes: don’t sweat the small stuff.
7 Show you care
Your child is sitting an exam, a colleague is waiting to hear about a promotion or a customer is going through a tough time. What do you do? A simple text message or phone call shows you care. It also demonstrates empathy, which is an essential element of likeability. It’s important to see things from another person’s perspective and put yourself in their position if you want to have impact.
8 Be a little ray of sunshine
Likeable people are more often than not positive and optimistic. Their glass is half full. They have a ‘can do’ attitude. They’re upbeat without being naïve. While there are benefits in working out the downside of projects, if you’re constantly pouring cold water on people’s ideas they won’t want to spend much time with you. Practise finding positive things to say. You’ll always be liked if you’re a little ray of sunshine.
9 Turn on the charm
Charm doesn’t mean cheesy. We mean natural, genuine charm that makes people feel special and important. Charming people place their focus of attention totally on you – and their old-fashioned manners and courtesy often works wonders.
10 Be who you are
You’re more likeable when you’re authentic. People find it hard to connect with others when they’re wearing a mask or putting on an act. When you’re comfortable with who you are, you have the confidence to let people get to know the real you. People are more likely to trust people who are real and want to spend time with them.