There is more work stress now in 2016 than there was in 2008 says Forbes. Career is so much part of the African identity. We are told from childhood to work hard, excel at school so we can find jobs and become people to be reckoned with in future. In keeping our collective nose to the grindstone, have we ignored our work relationships?
Likability at workplaces more often than not, leads to success or failure. HR people who are asked to pick job candidates and employees almost always decide to look beyond skill levels and bring on ‘likable’ candidates.
So other than keeping away from trouble, what can you do to increase your own likability and if people don’t like you as you are, should you change? shouldn’t you? Here are a few ways to be more likable at the workplace.
By the way, being rich or good looking is not on the list.
1. Quit Projecting Your Insecurities on to People
You need to come into that office believing you can befriend everyone before close of business, and then head a group meeting the next day. I mean, you may not actually hold the group meeting, but going into the office believing you can click with everybody there is the first step to being likable. Don’t let your insecurities get in the way, or hide under blanket words like “shy” and “introvert”.
Also, don’t cover your insecurities in the guise of humility. Sometimes humility comes across as being incredibly insecure. Admittedly, we all have a bit of insecurity, it is only normal and natural. But communicating your own insecurity often is a turn off to a lot of people.
Learn to be bold. Always go for it. People respond to that kind of outwardness.
2. Think Positive, Act Positive
There is one simple thing every likeable person has: a positive attitude. But we all have positive attitudes; especially during good times. It is easy to have a positive attitude then.
If you have been struggling to have a positive outlook on life especially when things aren’t looking your way, try to serve your mind a different scenario. When suffering from negativity, think about something good that has happened to you recently in a similar situation. The chances were, you were able to solve it. Draw positive energy from success stories.
Next, realize you can control your thoughts. Most of the negative people you encounter choose to be that way. I have never seen a birth announcement that says Mary and Bill Jones had a beautiful, but negative, baby daughter last night at 10:52 pm. We learn negativity, and it can be unlearned.
I understand becoming positive is a gradual process for people. Challenge yourself to be positive in negative situations for 30 days.Let’s start from there.
3. Be consistent
You don’t have to become a predictable robot, but adding consistency to your behaviors and routines is important. People need to know what they can expect from you, or else they might immediately write you off. Using some of the above strategies as examples, you can’t be positive one day and negative the next–you have to be positive most of the time. You can’t have a meaningful conversation one day and then revert to small talk the next–you have to be consistent.
4. Be a go-to Person
Especially for new employees, becoming a resource in a particular area of your job can serve as the perfect means of introduction and the foundation of good working relationships. Can you get the copier un-jammed faster than anyone else? Know how to get the boss to agree for the whole team? Can you speak a different language? Are you the go-to guy or gal for navigating the office intranet?
Establishing a reputation as a resource even in relatively trivial areas can help make you indispensable and help coworkers associate you with solutions.
5. Give and Take Compliments with Finesse
Until we realise people carry around hatred for a job simply because they are not often being complimented, is when we would understand the importance of giving compliments.
Many people are starved for compliments, and many spend entire lives without hearing something positive or complimentary. Please look for a way to compliment a co-worker or a customer. It’s really quite easy.
Obviously exaggerations aren’t compliments. Just because you call a pig a horse, doesn’t make him one. But there are plenty of ways to compliment a co-worker on something he just said or did without saying how you would have been better if you had done it.
I believe people like being valued, and a well placed compliment shows them you value them. Other compliment-rich areas include: anything about their kids, their thoughtfulness, their thinking process, their departments, teams, company, their skills, even their voice.
6. Like your job. Show genuine interest for what you do
Love may be too deep a word when speaking about something that gives you sleepless nights. But there’s something so appealing and motivating about seeing a person that truly enjoys their job. It’s awesome to see that person bound into work every day, ready to kick butt and make moves. And that positivity usually brims over and spills onto those they work with. Be that person.
People with confidence and charisma also live with purpose. It’s noticeable when you don’t seem to have a mission or driving factor. You don’t need to wear your passion on your sleeve, but you need to be confident in the notion that you’re alive to do something. When you come in every day with purpose, your office mates will not only love being around you, but will find you motivating. And that’s not a bad rep to have.
7. Language, Grooming, Hometraining
Some think having good manners is outdated. Far from it. People with good manners are most definitely likeable, if nothing else, most of us like being around people who have good manners. Just remember what you learned in kindergarten, or what Mom ragged on you about all the time.
Say please and thank you, write prompt thank you’s, stand up when a woman enters the room. Don’t shout from across the room. Use appropriate language. Speak to your clients and colleagues kindly without using swear words. Speak to subordinates kindly. Avoid showing a temper, complaining or whining all the time. And, gossip. If you gossip a lot, people will eventually migrate away from you even the ones listening and soaking up the gist.
Some people also have poor grooming skills. You would think this is a skill that comes naturally to adults, but has one really taken the time to explain these facts? Wear clean clothes, shower or bathe daily, don’t overdo the cologne, brush your teeth, comb your hair. If your organisation permits a certain type of dressing and grooming, adhere to the rules of the orgainsation.
8. Be approachable
Stiff people who are mainly concerned with putting in their time and heading home, tend not to be the most likeable characters at work. If you find yourself in this group, try to change that. Take lunch breaks and eat in a communal space where your co-workers usually gather. Join in office celebrations and other activities sponsored by you or your colleagues. Attend End-of the-year parties and realise you haven’t outgrown such gatherings.
Buy presents for your colleagues during their birthdays, weddings, children’s naming ceremony. Stop what you’re doing, listen, and make eye contact when you’re approached with a question or asked for help. Shake hands whenever you greet someone, and touch shoulders to show empathy, give support, or solidify a point you’re making.
Volunteer your skills and extra-curricular abilities often. When you notice someone struggling with a work challenge or professional issue, offer useful insight.
In essence, don’t stop at been seen and heard. Make people desire to see you and hear you.