The most important lesson I’ve learned

The most important lesson I’ve learned on how to be likeable at work without pleasing everyone

By Jose Dagala

Performance and position cannot guarantee your likeability at work. Likeability depends on your character and disposition.

Being likeable will help you enjoy your work more and succeed within your organization. However, to achieve likeability at work you don’t need to please everyone. Pleasing everyone will not help. Your colleagues will know if you’re just pleasing them out of your personal interest.

Indeed, you can’t please everyone but you can make them like you.

So, what’s the most important lesson I’ve learned on how to be likeable at work? In my 7 years of working and dealing with likable colleagues, it points to: MAKING OTHERS FEEL LIKEABLE!

Yes, to be likeable you must make others feel likeable first!

Here’s how –

Don’t feel insecure to anybody. If you have a colleague that is doing great on something, recognize it. Make him feel that you are learning from him. Recognize your limitation and work on it by asking for his help.

If you’re talking with any of your colleagues, don’t make them feel as if you know everything and they know nothing.  Instead, make them feel special and have something to contribute on your Team’s success. When they are discussing something with you, listen to them and give your full presence. They will know if you are not listening thus, you will make them feel unimportant.

Here’s a great anecdote presented by Olivia Fox Cabane on her book entitled “The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism” (2012) –

In the torrid London summer of 1886, William Gladstone was up against Benjamin Disraeli for the post of prime minister of the United Kingdom. This was the Victorian Era, so whoever won was going to rule half of the world. In the very last week before the election, both men happened to take the same young woman out to dinner. Naturally, the press asked her what the rivals had made. She said, “After dining with Mr. Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest person in England. But after dining with Mr. Disraeli, I thought I was the cleverest person in England.”

Guess who won the election? It was the man who made others feel intelligent, impressive, and fascinating: Benjamin Disraeli.

If you will just exercise the character of Benjamin Disraeli presented in this anecdote, surely you will be likeable. Your colleagues will come to you and will enjoy every minute of talking with you.

Insecure people are stressful – thus, will never be likeable!

Intellectual humility is the key to see something likeable in your colleagues!

You can’t like anybody if you see yourself as someone who already knew everything; someone who is afraid to ask for help and be perceived as weak; and someone who value authority and power more than the beauty of human relationships.

Basically, likeability comes down to creating positive emotional experiences in others. When you make others feel good, they tend to gravitate to you.” – Tim Sanders

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