Likeability: highly valuable, and sometimes a little difficult to achieve.
Being likeable, if you can achieve it, is a wonderful quality. It will help you go places. It’ll help you get that job, to make a business connection, to find the person you love and maybe, help them fall in love with you. Anyway, the point is being likeable is incredibly useful, but how to achieve it?
A couple of things. Massive, difficult things, but very simple and straightforward and here they are.
1.) Developing a fairly thick skin, developing the sense of not necessarily caring what everybody thinks. You’re happy to cheese off a couple of people. You’re never going to please everyone anyway. So why not work on pleasing most of your audience instead of every single one? Don’t aim for perfection. If you can be open and authentic and honest and maybe ruffle a few feathers in the process I think that’s good, I think that’s fun. I think that’s likeable.
2.) The second thing is to focus on – rather than on impressing people or making them think that you’re wonderful because let’s face it, there’s nothing less attractive than someone who wants to be liked – better to focus on making a connection, on having a little empathy with your audience, understanding what they’re about, listening to them, having a back and forth and an exchange of ideas, but connecting with them. Because let’s face it, any business that’s going to take place will only happen on the foundation of that solid, personal connection. The least qualified candidate in that series of interviews might get the job if they are the most likeable.
So: be prepared to cheese a few people off, be completely open and honest, and focus on making a personal connection. That, I believe, is how you become likeable.