“Liking” on social media, company websites, and blogs has become an obsession by many to:
- Feel affirmed by people known or unknown
- Become part of a community of other “likers”
- Support “like” requestors, whether we really do or not
Most people want to be liked. I know I do. The reality, though, is that not all the people like us all the time, particularly at work. There’s no “like” button to click there, only our behavior, to create and sustain our likeability.
It’s a behavior that affects your ability to do your job well. When coworkers like you, they want to:
- Serve on a team with you
- Help you out on an assignment
- Tip you off when there’s trouble ahead
- Cover your workload when you’re out
When your boss likes you, s/he may:
- Communicate with you easily (and there are a host of benefits in that)
- Cut you slack when you’re struggling
- See your work through a positive lens
- Consider you for advancement or plum assignments
The challenge is to earn our likeability stripes in the right way. It’s a big mistake to confuse likeability with popularity.
- Trying to be the office fashion plate or iron man
- Spreading gossip or engaging in too much social conversation
- Being the office comedian, socialite, or center of attention
- Schmoozing the boss with your cleverness and charm
To be likeable at work means bringing a positive spirit to the job you and your coworkers are doing together.
What it takes
We aren’t all liked for the same attributes. Just look around and you’ll see coworkers with very different approaches and personalities,most of whom you like in varying degrees. I suspect they look at you in the same way.
Our likeability is not about cloning; it’s about connecting. Our careers are built and grown through behaviors that attract a following of colleagues at every level. That’s one of the smart moves of business fitness.
These eight likeability behavior groups matter at work. They become part of your brand. Start by assessing how many you already demonstrate daily. Then consider embracing them all:
- A positive, optimistic, upside-seeing attitude every day, especially during tough times
- Emotional balance and steadiness; a total avoidance of drama
- Courtesy, respectfulness, and kindness, even when you’re angry or upset
- Trustworthiness, honesty, and accountability, particularly when you’ve erred
- A communicative, pleasant tone of voice and body language during disagreements, explanations, and feedback
- Expressed gratitude for support , recognition, and kindness
- Good humor, acknowledgement of others, and appreciation
- Value-added contributions that help coworkers and the team perform effectively
Not everyone at work will like you, but you can make it difficult for them to dislike you if you demonstrate these eight behaviors.
It’s important for you to see yourself in the grand scheme of things. You have multiple audiences who are watching you:
- Your boss and his/her bosses
- Your cube mates, crew members, or shift team
- The support staff
- Contacts in other departments
- Customers and suppliers
These audiences have different backgrounds and expectations. Trying to fit in is often untenable and/or exhausting. Spare yourself the agony.
Be the likeable you.
It’s important to bring your best self to work every day, consistently and predictably. Being liked is about how you connect with others around you. There’s no reason to make it complicated. Instead zero in on the eight behavior groups and nurture the most likeable you.
Photo by Babbletrish via Photoree