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13 Things Highly Likable People Do Differently

13 Things Highly Likable People Do Differently

If you have ever wondered why some people are so popular, try observing how they behave. They know instinctively that the power of networking is what really counts in the workplace. They also realize that being highly likable is the key to friendship and successful relationships.

But is it really worthwhile being so popular? You bet it is! According to a Columbia University study, these people get promoted more quickly, receive better medical treatment, and are perceived as being more trustworthy. They are streets ahead of everyone else, so it is certainly worth checking what they do differently.

Highly likable people naturally use some or all of these 13 techniques which make them stand out from the crowd.

1. They use names as identity tags.

I was fascinated once to see how Prince Charles used people’s names effectively when he came to a reception at my workplace many years ago. Obviously, he has vast experience after countless events. When he was leaving, he passed down the line of guests and said to me “Goodbye Robert.” It was easy, of course, as my name badge was clearly displayed. Look at the photo below. That’s me, the second from the left.

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    That set me thinking about how important it is to use people’s names in establishing and maintaining social contact. When people hear their name used in questions or comments in the conversation, they feel more appreciated. It is a signal that their identity is recognized.

    2. They are active listeners.

    There is nothing worse than someone droning on about themselves, their problems, achievements or their family. These people are completely unaware of the value of being active listeners. They simply do not know that instead of going on about their problems, they need to listen more, talk less and ask a few questions. This is exactly what highly likable people do.

    3. They use touch discreetly.

    When I first came to Italy, I was very much struck by the fact that the people used touch, hugs and kisses with complete naturalness. It was an eye opener for me, coming from a rather uptight family where touching was rarely part of our emotional development.

    But research studies show that the power of non sexual touch is far reaching and can help with requests for compliance, help and acceptance. Highly likable people use it discreetly and effectively.

    4. They are almost always positive.

    “The more you stir it, the more it stinks.”

    —Roger Larson

    Have you ever wondered how these likable people are always upbeat and optimistic? Here are some of the tricks they use:

    • They tend to concentrate on their achievements rather than their failures.
    • They rarely blame themselves when something goes wrong. They know their worth!
    • They know that negative thoughts prevent them from enjoying the present.
    • They realize that one negative thought is like a ball speeding down the hill, getting larger and larger before it reaches the bottom.
    • They practice gratitude often for the great things in their lives.

    5. They are patient.

    They know instinctively that in the long term, they are going to reach their goals. Taking one step at a time is one method they use. They are also aware of what triggers will make them impatient, and they are able to restrain those moments when bad temper, sulkiness, anger, and frustration threaten to send ripples through the waters.

    6. They are empathetic.

    They can relate to people’s problems and are interested enough to try to understand their feelings and also help in any way they can. They are tolerant of people’s weaknesses and do not expect perfection. A great quality for the perfect boss!

    7. They are genuine.

    There is nothing fake about a highly likable person. Sincerity shines through and you can sense immediately whether that smile is real especially when they praise you. Look at the eyes and see how the joy lines are also working. They follow up on promises and are highly reliable, which makes it a joy to work with them.

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    8. They are open minded.

    Far too many people think they have it all worked out and that their views on politics, life and work are right. Now, likable people are totally different in that they are open to new ideas, different ways of solving a problem and also have a curious mindset where they actively seek out new approaches and experiences.

    9. They are able to learn from failure.

    “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

    —Bill Gates

    Popular people know that failure is part and parcel of life. What really makes them stand out is that they are capable of learning a lesson when things go wrong and can move on with confidence. They never play the blame game.

    10. They are happy and calm.

    We all seek happiness. These appealing people are usually fulfilled in their work and relationships, and this attracts other people like a magnet. It is as if they have a secret aura, and this is worth its weight in gold.

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    11. They speak clearly.

    These highly regarded people are skilled communicators. Whether this has come about as a natural gift or as a learned skill, I am not sure. What shines through is the way they speak and how friendly the tone is. They never mumble, shout, rant, mutter or use foul language.

    12. They are non judgmental.

    You will never hear these likable people slandering or using gossip to judge colleagues and friends. They will never:

    • Interrupt
    • Make people look inferior
    • Complain or blame other people
    • Show off or boast

    Non judgmental people are always constructive and never destructive.

    13. They make great team member or leaders.

    Highly likable people make great team players because their open and positive attitude makes working with them a pleasure. Team leaders and bosses often crave popularity, but sometimes fail miserably because they possess very few of the people skills I have listed above.

    Now, where do you stand on the highly likable scale? Have you given this any thought and have you ever wondered how you could improve? Let us know in the comments below.

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    Featured photo credit: Girl outdoors smiling/Greyerbaby via pixabay.com

    More by this author

    Robert Locke

    Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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    Last Updated on March 14, 2019

    7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

    7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

    Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

    For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

    Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

    1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

    A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

    It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

    It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

    How it helps you:

    If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

    Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

    2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

    Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

    Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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    How it helps you:

    Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

    Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

    If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

    Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

    3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

    Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

    Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

    How it helps you:

    This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

    For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

    Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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    A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

    4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

    To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

    A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

    How it helps you:

    One word: hierarchy.

    All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

    In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

    If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

    5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

    Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

    Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

    How it helps you:

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    Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

    If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

    This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

    6. What do you like about working here?

    This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

    Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

    How it helps you:

    You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

    Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

    Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

    7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

    What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

    As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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    How it helps you:

    What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

    First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

    Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

    Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

    Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

    Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

    Making Your Interview Work for You

    Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

    Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

    More Resources About Job Interviews

    Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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