LIKEABILITY: The Road to Success
by Barbara Hickey
August 05, 2013 12:00 AM | 1072 views | 1 1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in HIS language, THAT goes to his heart.

- Nelson Mandela

Relationships, built on warmth, are the connection that we need to ensure that our message is well-received, supported, and is the help we need to move forward with our personal development.

As business leaders we strive to impart a culture of trust in our workplaces or in the organizations that impact our businesses. BUT without the 'LIKEABILITY SIGNALS', this may not be accomplished. There may not be the 'buy-in' to the mission which will carry over to other aspects of those lives we touch. We will have missed a golden opportunity.

According to an article in Harvard Business Review, Jack Zenger, Co-author of The Inspiring Leader, writes: "We are judged by our warmth and competence. And even the most critical characteristic of an aspiring leader - the ability to make an emotional connection with a team - is achievable, by building on key strengths in your own personality and leadership approach."

How do we project this warmth? First, to build these relationships we have to shift our thinking:

From ME to THEM


If we can focus on building a relationship first, the following LIKEABILITY SIGNALS will start us 'on the road to success':

SMILE - Inspirational writer William Arthur Ward wrote: "A warm smile is the universal language of kindness."

STAND UP STRAIGHT - Try not to appear rigid, but attentive.

LOWER THE VOLUME - Our voices can aid in showing enthusiasm, but if you want to show personal attention lower the pitch.

MAKE EYE CONTACT - This has always been one of those beliefs that it shows sincerity. We want it to show that you care.

KEEP YOUR HANDS OPEN - If you use your hands to express yourself, this body language action will speak of openness.

AVOID CROSSING YOUR ARMS - Another signal of rigidity.

LISTEN - Stephen Covey put it so well with his Habit 5 - Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood.

USE NON-VERBAL SIGNALS - A smile or a nod will show your interest and that you are listening.

THINK WIN-WIN - Seek solutions that involve cooperation and promote mutual success, which translates into caring.

USE EMPATHY - Place yourself in the other person's place



ALTERNATIVE - We never know where or when our next idea will come.

BE INCLUSIVE - We have all been the "new person" and human nature is such that we all want to feel that we belong and are part of the process.

We all have different leadership styles, but one of my favorite sources for wisdom is Dale Carnegie who said this:

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.

Thank you, Dale!

Barbara Hickey of Mableton is a community volunteer and owner of The Etiquette School of Atlanta.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Michael Katz
August 07, 2013
Thanks Barbara, I agree on the importance of likeability. Also, in my experience, it's not so much that people don't know how to be likeable, it's that when dropped into a business setting, they forget to bring their human side with them. Easier said than done, I know! Thanks again, Michael
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