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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 February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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