In high school, being likeable might have helped you get a few more invites to parties, or even get away with pushing the boundaries with your teachers a little more than other kids.
In the professional environment, the concept works in the same way. Being likeable might get you an introduction to the right mentor, an invitation to work on an exciting project, or a free pass from the boss when you make a mistake.
Simply put, being likeable is about more than just your ego – it can help your career too.
However, according to a study by OnePoll, one in five people hate their colleagues, and one in three said they wouldn’t socialise with their workers outside the office.
Check out this list of traits that make an employee likeable and see how many you already embody – and if there are any you need to work on.
Anybody can talk to people, but there are ways to do this to make you an outcast and ways to do this to get you popularity.
In your emails, always reply as quickly as you can, even if it’s just to say you’ve read the message and will get back to it tomorrow. When MailTime surveyed its users on how long they expected to wait for a reply, 19 per cent said 12 hours. A further 52 per cent said they were ok with 12-24 hours, and it just three out of every one hundred people said they would wait for a whole week. Whatever you do, make sure you reply in some way – no one likes being ignored.
During face-to-face meetings and conversations, you’ll notice that likeable people always focus their attention on the speaker 100 per cent. They don’t let their laptops or mobile phones distract them, they make eye contact, and they don’t interrupt.
Praise and credit
When someone does something well or achieves a particularly difficult task, the most-liked person in the office is often the first one to say ‘congratulations’. Without overdoing it, they let others know that their efforts and achievements have been noticed.
Giving credit when credit is due is another big factor. Even if the likeable person did all the work of a project, they might remind their boss that another staff member inspired the idea.
When something goes wrong in the workplace, there are always people who overreact, becoming upset, angry or overwhelmed. Keeping your cool in times of stress makes people see you as level-headed. Think about when you have to approach someone with an issue: Would you prefer to take it to someone you thought might lose control, or someone who would listen and remain calm?
It’s not rare to hear profanities in the workplace – especially when the printer breaks or there’s no coffee left – but you probably won’t hear it from the likeable types. In a 2012 survey, CareerBuilder found that 57 per cent of employers would be less likely to promote someone who swore in the workplace, and 64 per cent said they’d simply think less of them.
Having the sunniest disposition in the room is like being a human magnet – we are simply drawn to those who emote positive vibes.
Remember to smile, think about your body language, and always look for the positive side to a problem, even if it just means you will know better next time.
Let people see that you are passionate about your work and the workplace itself, as this will help people remember the good aspects of their job, even when they’re having a tough day.