Three Ways to Become More Likable at Work

Ever notice that sometimes getting promoted or landing a new freelance gig boils down to whether or not people like you?

Better yet, don’t answer that. Sometimes if you’re passed over, you may not come to terms with someone else was more liked (notice we didn’t say more experienced).

Often times when two resumes are almost identical, the decision to move forward with one person over the other comes down to whether or not someone knows them and if they’re downright likable and have the ability to play in the sandbox with everyone else.

And it’s not just about promotions and new gigs; being likable extends itself beyond new jobs and is often worth its weight in gold. 

When we read a piece on about habits about highly likable people, we figured we could all learn a lesson or two from people who know how to illuminate a room.

1. Lose the power pose. In the piece Jeff Haden alludes to Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela’s way of meeting someone. For instance, Clinton takes a step forward whereas Mandela steps forward with a smile and bends a little bit forward as if he’s going to bow. “What you have are two important people who put aside all sense of self-importance or status. They’re genuine.”

As for his advice, he indicates:

“Next time you meet someone, relax, step forward, tilt your head towards them slightly, smile, and show that you’re the one who is honored by the introduction–not them. We all like people who like us. If I show you I’m genuinely happy to meet you, you’ll instantly start to like me. (And you’ll show that you do, which will help calm my nerves and let me be myself.)”

2. They “close” genuinely. In addition to greeting, they also close in a genuine way. Instead of simply saying, “Nice meeting you,” as you walk away, go back to the basics. And by that, Haden means the beginning.

“Shake hands again. Use your free hand to gently touch the other person’s forearm or shoulder. Say, ‘I am really glad I met you.’ Or say, ‘You know, I really enjoyed talking with you.’ Smile: Not that insincere salesperson smile that goes with, ‘Have a nice day!’ but a genuine, appreciative smile.”

3. They whip out their social jiu-jitsu. Their social jiu-whatsu? That’s right, they’re social jiu-jitsu. It’s a secret sauce, if you will.

Have you ever met someone and been completely wowed only to realize you haven’t learned a thing about them? In essence, you basically talked the entire time.

enter the social jiu-jitsu, the art of getting you to talk about yourself without even realizing it! Likable people are so skilled at this ability by expressing interest, being polite and using their social graces.

So, how can you master this ancient art? In the piece Haden says to “ask the right questions.” Simply stay open-ended and channel your inner journalist by asking the how’s, why’s, and who’s.