We all know this to be true, whether or not we are conscious of it. In the longer term, likeable people win out over all others. It does not matter how smart, experienced, educated or hard working you are. Likeable people are more fun to work with, inspire loyalty amongst their peers and are “lighter to lift” within any team or organization.
I have seen many a talented corporate citizen become victim to pessimism, office gossip and time-consuming complaining. These people, often with absolutely zero intention, become irritating to others and worst of all harmful to themselves and their own professional progression. And the sad part is that their lack of self-awareness paralyzes them.
At a certain level in our careers, we have the skills, talent and capabilities to do the job. What stops a lot of people getting to the next level is their likeability factor. When making hiring decisions and progression planning, managers and executives want the likeable people on their team. Before we are professionals we are all human beings. It is natural to want to be surrounded by positive, uplifting people. If there are two people capable of doing a job, selling a product or service or even sitting next to us in our cubicle, the likeable person will win every time.
Here are seven reasons likeable people succeed:
1. No (or minimal) ego. Who likes an ego? No one.
2. Likeable people elevate others. They praise, share credit and enjoy other people’s successes. Funnily enough, this quality elevates them the most. It’s testament to the lovely old truth that we keep what we give away.
3. They make us feel relaxed. Less-likeable people create stress, tension and can even make people defensive and on edge. Those emotions are not enjoyable.
4. “All else being equal, people do business with people they like,” Jeffrey Gitomer, The Little Red Book of Selling. This does not just stop with sales people. It applies to all relationships — internally and even socially.
5. Positive attracts positive. Negativity repels. This is simple and yet so often misunderstood. A negative attitude, even if it is not directed at us, makes us want to avoid the person generating it. Positivity on the other hand is very attractive.
6. More so than ever, employers are focused on creating supportive company cultures and understand how much it contributes to an organization’s success. Well-liked people supply a lot of value to a professional culture.
7. Likeable people are often inclusive and are therefore always included. They do not operate out of fear in the workplace but out of happiness and generosity. As a result, likeable people are often consulted for their point of view and hold clout when decisions are being made.
Shawn Achor in The Happiness Advantage explains it best: “Success orbits around happiness, not the other way around.”
What have your observations been of likeable people in the work place?