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10 Habits Of Likable And Influential People

10 Habits Of Likable And Influential People

While there are many attributes associated with good leadership, likability is not one that immediately springs to mind. This is an underrated and often undervalued characteristic among individuals in senior roles, primarily because it contrasts with our ingrained image of leaders being dominant and assertive.

Good and sustainable leadership depends on an ability to influence others, however, so that teams share in a specific vision and work towards a common goal. This cannot be achieved successfully by those who rule through fear alone, as people are more inclined to follow an individual who is likable and charming in equal measure. In this respect, likability is one of the key attributes for any ambitious leaders.

So what exactly are the primary habits and traits that distinguish likable people with a capacity for influencing others from other types of people?

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1. They Have a Positive and Infectious Mental Attitude

Cynicism is a natural state for some, especially in the world of work and commercial leadership. From the emotional drain and inconvenience of excessive meetings to the hidden agendas of others, we can easily become suspicious of those around us and cynical about their motivations. It can be easy to give into this, but likable individuals tend to maintain a positive mindset that is infectious and establishes greater levels of morale.

2. They Always Take Positive Lessons from Failure

This positive outlook manifests itself in multiple ways, although it is most obvious in times of adversity. More specifically, likable influencers seek out positive lessons from failure, rather than brooding over their shortcomings and developing feelings of resentment. According to inspirational author Napoleon Hill (who wrote the famous Think and Grow Rich), those with a likable persona are more likely to express gratitude for having gained a measure of wisdom that would not have come without failure.

3. They are Inquisitive

Likable people are good at communications, both in terms of sharing their own ideas and listening to others. So rather than focusing on their own viewpoint and simply waiting for the next opportunity to talk, they listen to your perspective and digest its meaning. This is often manifested by an inquisitive nature and a tendency to ask questions, as this reinforces their interest in what is being said and underlines how they care for others.

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4. The Always Speak in a Considered and Friendly Tone

On a similar note, likable people who are good influencers also tend to speak in a deliberate and confident manner. This immediately gives their voice a pleasing and reassuring sound, whether they are speaking to a single individual or a larger group. Such a tone and communication style also suggests a sense of self-control, which in turn inspires trust from those who are listening.

5. They Maintain Composure at All Times

The working day is full of minor frustrations, as is the wider world around us. From commonplace office time thieves with their drive-by work requests, to the petty rudeness of others, it is easy to become frustrated and lose our composure in front of others. Likable individuals are able to maintain their poise at all times, however, avoiding those unnecessary overreactions and potential confrontations.

6. They are Openminded and Accepting of Change

We have already discussed the impact of cynicism on individuals and those around them, but it is important to note that this also creates a closed mind that is resistant to certain ideas. It also prevents people from interacting with those who are different, denying them the opportunity to experience personal growth. Likable individuals have no such issues, as they retain a positive and open minded attitude that is receptive to change and difference.

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7. They are Able to Suppress Negative Thoughts

While expressive people tend to be honest by nature, this can be detrimental when it comes to interacting with others. While likable individuals are capable of expressing themselves, they also have a sense of self-discipline that enables them to suppress negative thoughts and avoid sharing these with others. This avoids causing unnecessary offence to others, which is crucial to maintaining good morale and productive relationships.

8. They Don’t Seek Attention

There are few characteristics that are more distressing than attention seeking, whether in the workplace or at home. This stems from an underlying desire to be noticed, and achieve notoriety for both positive and negative behavior. Given that this is such an unappealing quality, it should come as no surprise that likable individuals are more likely to avoid attracting attention unless it is for a selfless cause or a hard-earned accomplishment.

9. They Praise Others in a Genuine and Believable Way

While praise is always welcome and an excellent way of improving morale, false praise will create cynicism and mistrust on a large scale. This is where likable people often excel as individuals, as they deliver praise whenever it is deserved, without being excessive or giving the impression of being false. This is an excellent communication skill to have, as you must be able to deliver praise in a believable and genuine tone in order for your comments to be well received.

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10. They Trust Someone Enough to Point Out Their Flaws

On a final note, it is important to reaffirm that likability is not a parlor trick or a facade that can be adopted. Rather than leaders pretending to be likable, they earn this praise because they care about their behavior, reputation and the way in which they are perceived by others. They are also likely to have a close confidante or network of supporters that are entirely honest with them at all times, offering feedback on their flaws and potential areas for improvement.

Featured photo credit: Pepe Pont / Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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