Here are the wonderful lists of ideas I’ve given out during interviews this last transfer. There are things here we can all improve on. We talked about the difference between being POPULAR and being LIKABLE. Being Popular redirects attention toward us and away from others. Being Likable focuses the attention on those you are with. We ought to be the most Likable people in town. Come join us in our quest!
13 Habits of Exceptionally Likeable People
by Dr. Travis Bradberry
Too many people succumb to the mistaken belief that being likeable comes from natural, unteachable traits that belong only to a lucky few—the good looking, the fiercely social, and the incredibly talented. It’s easy to fall prey to this misconception. In reality, being likeable is under your control, and it’s a matter of emotional intelligence (EQ).
In a study conducted at UCLA, subjects rated over 500 adjectives based on their perceived significance to likeability. The top-rated adjectives had nothing to do with being gregarious, intelligent, or attractive (innate characteristics). Instead, the top adjectives were sincerity, transparency, and capacity for understanding (another person).
These adjectives, and others like them, describe people who are skilled in the social side of emotional intelligence. TalentSmart research data from more than a million people shows that people who possess these skills aren’t just highly likeable, they outperform those who don’t by a large margin.
We did some digging to uncover the key behaviors that emotionally intelligent people engage in that make them so likeable. Here are 13 of the best:
1. They Ask Questions
The biggest mistake people make when it comes to listening is they’re so focused on what they’re going to say next or how what the other person is saying is going to affect them that they fail to hear what’s being said. The words come through loud and clear, but the meaning is lost.
A simple way to avoid this is to ask a lot of questions. People like to know you’re listening, and something as simple as a clarification question shows that not only are you listening, you also care about what they’re saying. You’ll be surprised how much respect and appreciation you gain just by asking questions.
2. They Put Away Their Phones
Nothing will turn someone off to you like a mid-conversation text message or even a quick glance at your phone. When you commit to a conversation, focus all of your energy on the conversation. You will find that conversations are more enjoyable and effective when you immerse yourself in them.
3. They Are Genuine
Being genuine and honest is essential to being likeable. No one likes a fake. People gravitate toward those who are genuine because they know they can trust them. It is difficult to like someone when you don’t know who they really are and how they really feel.
Likeable people know who they are. They are confident enough to be comfortable in their own skin. By concentrating on what drives you and makes you happy as an individual, you become a much more interesting person than if you attempt to win people over by making choices that you think will make them like you.
4. They Don’t Pass Judgment
If you want to be likeable you must be open-minded. Being open-minded makes you approachable and interesting to others. No one wants to have a conversation with someone who has already formed an opinion and is not willing to listen.
Having an open mind is crucial in the workplace where approachability means access to new ideas and help. To eliminate preconceived notions and judgment, you need to see the world through other people’s eyes. This doesn’t require you believe what they believe or condone their behavior, it simply means you quit passing judgment long enough to truly understand what makes them tick. Only then can you let them be who they are.
5. They Don’t Seek Attention
People are averse to those who are desperate for attention. You don’t need to develop a big, extroverted personality to be likeable. Simply being friendly and considerate is all you need to win people over. When you speak in a friendly, confident, and concise manner, you will notice that people are much more attentive and persuadable than if you try to show them you’re important. People catch on to your attitude quickly and are more attracted to the right attitude than what—or how many people—you know.
When you’re being given attention, such as when you’re being recognized for an accomplishment, shift the focus to all the people who worked hard to help you get there. This may sound cliché, but if it’s genuine, the fact that you pay attention to others and appreciate their help will show that you’re appreciative and humble—two adjectives that are closely tied to likeability.
6. They Are Consistent
Few things make you more unlikeable than when you’re all over the place. When people approach you, they like to know whom they’re dealing with and what sort of response they can expect. To be consistent you must be reliable, and you must ensure that even when your mood goes up and down it doesn’t affect how you treat other people.
7. They Use Positive Body Language
Becoming cognizant of your gestures, expressions, and tone of voice (and making certain they’re positive) will draw people to you like ants to a picnic. Using an enthusiastic tone, uncrossing your arms, maintaining eye contact, and leaning towards the person who’s speaking are all forms of positive body language that high-EQ people use to draw others in. Positive body language can make all the difference in a conversation.
It’s true that how you say something can be more important than what you say.
8. They Leave a Strong First Impression
Research shows most people decide whether or not they like you within the first seven seconds of meeting you. They then spend the rest of the conversation internally justifying their initial reaction. This may sound terrifying, but by knowing this you can take advantage of it to make huge gains in your likeability. First impressions are tied intimately to positive body language. Strong posture, a firm handshake, smiling, and opening your shoulders to the person you are talking to will help ensure that your first impression is a good one.
9. They Greet People by Name
Your name is an essential part of your identity, and it feels terrific when people use it. Likeable people make certain they use others’ names every time they see them. You shouldn’t use someone’s name only when you greet him. Research shows that people feel validated when the person they’re speaking with refers to them by name during a conversation.
If you’re great with faces but have trouble with names, have some fun with it and make remembering people’s names a brain exercise. When you meet someone, don’t be afraid to ask her name a second time if you forget it right after you hear it. You’ll need to keep her name handy if you’re going to remember it the next time you see her.
10. They Smile
People naturally (and unconsciously) mirror the body language of the person they’re talking to. If you want people to like you, smile at them during a conversation and they will unconsciously return the favor and feel good as a result.
11. They Know When To Open Up
Be careful to avoid sharing personal problems and confessions too quickly, as this will get you labeled a complainer. Likeable people let the other person guide when it’s the right time for them to open up.
12. They Know Who To Touch (and They Touch Them)
When you touch someone during a conversation, you release oxytocin in their brain, a neurotransmitter that makes their brain associate you with trust and a slew of other positive feelings. A simple touch on the shoulder, a hug, or a friendly handshake is all it takes to release oxytocin. Of course, you have to touch the right person in the right way to release oxytocin, as unwanted or inappropriate touching has the opposite effect. Just remember, relationships are built not just from words, but also from general feelings about each other. Touching someone appropriately is a great way to show you care.
13. They Balance Passion and Fun
People gravitate toward those who are passionate. That said, it’s easy for passionate people to come across as too serious or uninterested because they tend to get absorbed in their work. Likeable people balance their passion with the ability to have fun. At work they are serious, yet friendly. They still get things done because they are socially effective in short amounts of time and they capitalize on valuable social moments. They minimize small talk and gossip and instead focus on having meaningful interactions with their coworkers. They remember what you said to them yesterday or last week, which shows that you’re just as important to them as their work.
9 Things That Make You Unlikable
by Travis Bradberry
1. Sharing too much, too early.
While getting to know people requires a healthy amount of sharing, sharing too much about yourself right off the bat comes across wrong. Be careful to avoid sharing personal problems and confessions too quickly. Likeable people let the other person guide them as to when it’s the right time for them to open up. Over-sharing comes across as self-obsessed and insensitive to the balance of the conversation. Think of it this way: if you’re getting into the nitty gritty of your life without learning about the other person first, you’re sending the message that you see them as nothing more than a sounding board for your problems.
2. Having a closed mind.
If you want to be likeable, you must be open-minded, which makes you approachable and interesting to others. No one wants to have a conversation with someone who has already formed an opinion and is unwilling to listen. Having an open mind is crucial in the workplace, where approachability means access to new ideas and help. To eliminate preconceived notions and judgment, you need to see the world through other people’s eyes. This doesn’t require that you believe what they believe or condone their behavior; it simply means that you quit passing judgment long enough to truly understand what makes them tick.
People make themselves look terrible when they get carried away with gossiping. Wallowing in talk of other people’s misdeeds or misfortunes may end up hurting their feelings if the gossip ever finds its way to them, but gossiping is guaranteed to make you look negative and spiteful every time.
It’s great to know important and interesting people, but using every conversation as an opportunity to name-drop is pretentious and silly. Just like humble-bragging, people see right through it. Instead of making you look interesting, it makes people feel as though you’re insecure and overly concerned with having them like you. It also cheapens what you have to offer. When you connect everything you know with who you know (instead of what you know or what you think), conversations lose their color.
People are averse to those who are desperate for attention. Simply being friendly and considerate is all you need to win people over. When you speak in a friendly, confident, and concise manner, people are much more attentive and persuadable than if you try to show them that you’re important. People catch on to your attitude quickly and are more attracted to the right attitude than who you know.
5. Whipping out your phone.
Nothing turns someone off to you like a mid-conversation text message or even a quick glance at your phone. When you commit to a conversation, focus all of your energy on the conversation. You’ll find that conversations are more enjoyable and effective when you immerse yourself in them.
6. Emotional hijackings.
My company provides 360° feedback assessments, and we come across far too many instances of people throwing things, screaming, making people cry, and other telltale signs of an emotional hijacking. An emotional hijacking demonstrates low emotional intelligence. As soon as you show that level of instability, people will question whether or not you’re trustworthy and capable of keeping it together when it counts.
Exploding at anyone, regardless of how much they might “deserve it,” turns a huge amount of negative attention your way. You’ll be labeled as unstable, unapproachable, and intimidating. Controlling your emotions keeps you in the driver’s seat. When you’re able to control your emotions around someone who wrongs you, they end up looking bad instead of you.
7. Not asking enough questions.
The biggest mistake people make in conversation is being so focused on what they’re going to say next or how what the other person is saying is going to affect them that they fail to hear what’s being said. The words come through loud and clear, but the meaning is lost. A simple way to avoid this is to ask a lot of questions. People like to know you’re listening, and something as simple as a clarification question shows that not only are you listening but that you also care about what they’re saying. You’ll be surprised how much respect and appreciation you gain just by asking questions.
8. Being too serious.
People gravitate toward those who are passionate. That said, it’s easy for passionate people to come across as too serious or uninterested, because they tend to get absorbed in their work. Likable people balance their passion for their work with their ability to have fun. At work they are serious, yet friendly. They still get things done because they are socially effective in short amounts of time and they capitalize on valuable social moments. They focus on having meaningful interactions with their coworkers, remembering what people said to them yesterday or last week, which shows people that they are just as important to them as their work is.
We all know those people who like to brag about themselves behind the mask of self-deprecation. For example, the gal who makes fun of herself for being a nerd when she really wants to draw attention to the fact that she’s smart or the guy who makes fun of himself for having a strict diet when he really wants you to know how healthy and fit he is. While many people think that self-deprecation masks their bragging, everyone sees right through it. This makes the bragging all the more frustrating, because it isn’t just bragging; it’s also an attempt to deceive.
Bringing It All Together
When you build your awareness of how your actions are received by other people, you pave the way to becoming more likeable.
5 Easy Ways to Be More Likable (That You Can Try Today!)
by Aja Frost
Even though there were around 20 of us in the conference room, the atmosphere was pretty subdued. It had been a long, stressful week, and while this work party was supposed to be a celebration of a project we’d finished—it looked like most people were ready to go home and climb into bed.
Then Alex walked in, and the vibe immediately changed. She’s probably the most charismatic, well-liked person in the office, and just having her there made everyone else feel more energized, cheery, and talkative.
We all know people like Alex. For the longest time, I thought Alex’s personality was totally organic—that you couldn’t cultivate likability. Well, I’ve realized that’s not entirely true. Most of us will never be Alex-status, but we can do several simple things on a routine basis to not only become more well-liked, but also happier.
1. Look Out for the Little Things
During a small team meeting, I mentioned I had an idea for a potential new section for our site. Five minutes after we wrapped up, an email landed in my inbox.
It said: “Hey! Just wanted to say I loved your section idea. I can tell you really put a lot of effort into thinking about why it would benefit our readers and how we could build it out.”
Who was it from? Alex, of course.
Alex is my peer—so this note felt different than getting one from, say, my boss. She didn’t have an obligation to send it, making it that much more meaningful. And her observation was spot-on; I’d spent a long time thinking about the exact things she’d mentioned.
I’m pretty darn sure Alex makes it a regular habit to acknowledge the small things her colleagues are doing well that probably aren’t getting recognized by anyone—because they are relatively minor.
Now I’m following her lead and making a point to say something nice (and genuine!) to at least one professional per day. This requires me to pay attention to what the people around me are working on—but I should be doing that anyway.
2. Ask About People’s Passions
I love podcasts—like, I seriously geek out every time a new episode of Longform comes out. That’s why I was so excited when a user on Twitter took it upon himself to send me some podcast recommendations.
Everyone loves talking about their passions, so give them a chance to get enthusiastic with you! It’s really flattering when someone cares enough about you to a) notice what you like and b) bring it up.
Maybe you notice your boss’ boss occasionally tweets his marathon results. Next time there’s a marathon in your area, email him the link and add, “I heard you’re a runner; are you running in this one?” Right away, you’ve got a connection. (Not a LinkedIn one—a real one.)
Or suppose you see one of your colleagues post an Instagram shot from the last concert she went to. When you bump into her in the hall, say, “I loved that concert Instagram you posted. How long have you been into jazz? Where are your favorite places to go?”
This even works with people you’ve never met before; I still keep in touch with the podcast guy from Twitter.
Talking to people about their interests suggests you see them as more than just their jobs. It shows you care about them on a human level. They’ll like you more for it—plus, you get to learn cool details about people at your company or in your field.
3. Do Five-Minute Favors
One day, I swung by Alex’s desk to ask her to help with me with an Excel spreadsheet that wasn’t formatting properly. She had to make a phone call, so I told her I’d consult someone else. But when I got back to my computer, I saw Alex had messaged me a YouTube tutorial that helped me resolve the issue.
Alex—and other super likable people—are masters of the five-minute favor. They’re constantly doing small good deeds for other people. In turn? Other people are beyond eager to help them out.
Five-minute favors are a huge boon to your reputation, and as this example proves, you don’t have to neglect your own responsibilities to do them.
You can wait for people to ask for help, like I did with Alex. Or you can proactively volunteer it. When the web team unveils the new site, you can take five minutes to send them your thoughts. When you notice two colleagues have mutual interests (because you’re paying attention!), you can offer to introduce them. When someone you know announces a new side project, you can promote it on social media.
4. Say “Hi” Enthusiastically
After watching how Alex interacts with people, I realized she did one key thing that’s so simple, so easy, I can’t believe I had never thought of it before.
She says hi to everyone she sees. And not a lame little “hi,” either, but an enthusiastic, heart-felt, “Hi!”
Most of the time, we’re stressed, busy, anxious, or tired—which means we end up giving perfunctory little nods or smiles to others when we greet them.
But this lack of excitement implies we don’t really care about other people, or at the very least, can’t be bothered to show we care.
I’ve committed to saying “Hey!” or “Good morning!” or “Long time no see!” to everyone I come across, complete with a huge smile. Not only do I end up feeling genuinely more excited to see them, it’s wonderful to see their faces light up and to get a real greeting in return.
5. Say “That Sounds Hard”
I stole this phrase from Paul Ford, the writer, who explained in an essay on Medium you should “ask the other person what they do, and right after they tell you, say: ‘Wow. That sounds hard.’” Why? “Because nearly everyone in the world believes their job to be difficult.”
At first, the idea of saying, “That sounds hard,” to everyone I met made me really uncomfortable. Wasn’t that fake and manipulative? Then I realized everyone’s job is hard. If you’re a Starbucks barista, you’ve got to stand for hours at a time in a small space, dealing with customers who are often angry or irrational. That’s hard. If you’re writing code for a scrappy startup, that’s hard. If you’re managing a department and trying to please both your team and your boss, that’s hard. I can’t think of a single profession that doesn’t have a degree of difficulty in it.
Saying, “That sounds hard,” makes people proud of themselves and their abilities. It also gives them an opportunity to open up and describe either their satisfaction or their frustrations with their jobs, which I promise you will lead to better conversations. Plus, they won’t feel the need to prove themselves, which means you won’t have any of those frustrating ego clashes that often dominate discussions. End result? More honest, genuine discussion!
After reviewing these five habits, I’ve realized they come down to one basic concept: being nice. We can’t all have Alex’s charisma, but we can certainly show other people we care. And they’ll like us for it.
16 Things Extremely Likeable People Do
by Emily Co, Editor, Smart Living
Being likeable has its benefits — you’ll have an easier time scoring your dream job and making friends. Recently, Redditors shared some advice for making yourself more likeable. Here are some of the top tips:
They smile — a lot. Seeing a smile makes other people happy, so if you’re smiling when you’re interacting with someone, he’ll find you easy to like and friendly.
They ask people questions. There’s nothing people love more than to talk about themselves. They will find the conversation more memorable and positive if they spend time talking about themselves.
They pay attention. Listen more to other people than you speak, and people will feel valued. Even if you’re asking questions, people won’t warm up to that if it seems you’re not listening to what they’re saying.
They remember names. Names are such a core part of people’s identity. Bringing their names up in the conversation will not only make them feel good, but they’ll also appreciate the fact that you remember their names.
They repeat and reinforce. Repeating what someone said to you and reinforcing it will help people feel validated. And that’s all people want — validation.
They don’t give unsolicited advice. Give advice to people when they ask you for it. If you go around telling people your opinion, you can come across as being overbearing and bossy even if you’re just trying to help.
They don’t make everything a competition. Trying to compete with everyone and one-up everything people say can quickly make you less likeable in their eyes.
They take responsibility. If you make a mistake, take responsibility for it. Acknowledge it, and don’t point the blame at someone else.
They get off their phones. People appreciate undivided attention, because it makes them feel like you’re truly listening to them. It makes them feel that you value their presence and time.
They don’t make comparisons all the time and make it all about them. Sometimes in an effort to relate to others, you can go overboard with comparisons. When someone tells you about their dog dying, you should listen with concern, because that’s what they are seeking. If you chime in with a story of how your own dog died and how you were devastated so you know how they feel, the other person may feel that you’re switching the topic back to you.
They don’t keep interrupting. You may get overexcited and interrupt people while they are talking, which can annoy them. It makes them feel that what they have to say is not that important to you.
They make eye contact. Making the right amount of eye contact with someone can help them feel rapport with you. You’ll also come across as being more confident and trustworthy.
They accept that other people will disagree with them. Everyone has different opinions — learn to be OK with that. Your way may not always be the right way for others, so don’t try to convince them that they’re wrong. Embrace your differences.
They don’t constantly seek sympathy and attention. Likeable people don’t need to constantly seek sympathy and attention to feel better about themselves.
They don’t try too hard. Focus on making yourself happy first, and people will gravitate toward you. If you try too hard, people can see through that.
They have good hygiene. Wear clean clothes, brush your teeth, and take showers.
39 Behaviors of the Most Likable People
by Andrew Thomas
You can quickly become more charismatic by adopting the traits of the most likable people.
There are a lucky few born with natural charisma – masters of working a room in seconds with handshakes and laughs. I admired the way likable people made me feel and how others people gravitated toward them. It hit me that our greatest gift is the way we make people feel. I wanted to learn the secrets of their success.
So, I started learning how to be more likable. The most effective thing I did was notice the behaviors and traits of the most likable people – and then adopt them as mine own.
Here’s a list of 39 things that the most likable people do on a daily basis – so you can do the same.
They actively listen.
They make a great first impression.
They’re accountable for their mistakes.
They do what they say they’ll do.
They treat everyone with respect.
They live for themselves, not to please others.
They remember your name.
They offer to help.
They aren’t afraid to make mistakes.
They send thank you notes.
They encourage others.
They speak slowly and confidently
They don’t judge you.
They forgive and forget.
They don’t speak for you.
They know how to give a compliment.
They know how to accept a compliment.
They tell the truth.
They celebrate others.
They ask questions instead of making assumptions.
They have good body language.
They don’t criticize others.
They give you their undivided attention.
They don’t make you feel defensive.
They don’t take credit for other people’s success.
They maintain good eye contact.
They let you do most of the talking.
They know how to have a tough conversation.
They admit when they’re wrong.
They are consistent.
They don’t interrupt.
They’re not afraid to be vulnerable.
They don’t exaggerate.
They can laugh at themselves.
They’re optimistic, without being unrealistic.