It's not a stretch to say that we spend more waking hours with our coworkers than anyone else during the workweek, including our family. For this reason, it's good to like your coworkers, and it's great if they reciprocate. It's miserable to spend that many hours with people you don't like. You can't force your coworkers to change, but you can increase your likability factor. We like people who make us feel good about ourselves, and that creates a shift in how they react to you. And I'll take it a step further than that — not only will increasing your likability improve your overall coworker relationships, but it also makes it easier to be successful.
Being well-liked by others isn't a smoke-and-mirrors game. It's a skill that anyone can easily pick up. Here are six things likable people do at work.
Doing What You Say and Doing It When You Say You Will Do It
If you slack, you impact your coworkers' ability to get their jobs done. When you are reliable, you are making your coworkers' lives easier and less stressful. Professionals who are dependable will win the trust of the boss, coworkers, clients, and customers. If they can count on you, it gives them a sense of relief.
Taking an Interest in Your Coworkers' Lives
No, not in that creepy kind of way that borders on intrusiveness. Instead of making idle chit-chat, make it count. Make it real. Don't just say, "Good morning." Instead say, "Good morning, Erin. How did Sarah's recital go last night?" Likable people make it a habit to be curious about others. Ask appropriate questions and make it a point to remember what they've talked about. They'll be impressed when you bring it up later.
Putting Others at Ease
Not everyone feels confident 100 percent of the time. If you sense that someone feels uneasy or inadequate, you can help them feel capable, smart, and accepted. Being a likable person requires good manners and having the ability to put other people at ease. Although some people seem to have been born with this flair, it can be learned. Once you enhance this trait, you'll be amazed at how you make people feel.
Letting Someone Else Tell Their Story
Conversation is an exchange of stories. Each one waits until the other is done and then they begin telling their story. People who allow others to speak without taking their own turn are generally regarded as the better conversationalists. Validation comes by way of listening. The difficulty most people have is to stop themselves from jumping in and interjecting their own thoughts, ideas, and stories during the conversation. When you watch your ego, the conversation isn't about you. You're simply there to hear their story.
Not Hogging the Spotlight
If you've had help along the way, take the time to publicly recognize those who have helped you. It's OK to toot your own horn and sometimes you need to be your best spokesperson, but be careful not to monopolize the spotlight. Give credit where credit is due.
Some things are too simple. We don't need to complicate matters. There's no easier way to build likability than by remembering names and using names in conversations. This small and powerful gesture makes people feel respected. Here's the bottom line — people like to hear their name. Use it.
Despite these actions, there will be people who won't warm up to you. That's the way it goes. You won't always win over all of your coworkers, but when your likability factor increases with the people who matter, you'll see a boost in your success. Smile, say hello, and acknowledge your coworkers by name. A few small genuine acts will go a long way.