Everyone wants to be liked-in business and in life. Each person tries to please other people in a different way. The same rules apply in your personal life and in business. You always want to be liked, respected and admired.
A wise person once said that there are three elements that make a person ideal for business: they need to have knowledge and expertise, they need to have integrity and they need to fit in. The third element is the one that has the most to do with likeability. Fitting in means that you fit well with others in a synergistic manner. It doesn't mean that you do whatever it takes (including compromising your own principles) to be considered one of the group members. Likeability is so important because all relationships (including business relationships) have an emotional foundation.
Being liked is so critical to business, in fact, that there are many times that it will take precedence over knowledge and expertise. If you are missing that element from your personality, others will immediately notice and react in a way that you wouldn't want them to. Additionally, they will remember you long after they are with you. Most people are good people with something genuine and valuable to offer other people. However, sometimes bringing it out is a matter of digging a little and cultivating it properly. It is very important to be a peace with who you are and to really learn to like yourself before expecting that others will like you. You are a good person with wonderful qualities. Make sure that you share them with others.
The following are some tips that will help you to develop likeability, if you feel that it is lacking:
- Evaluate your own likeability: As you evaluate how you come across to others, you should isolate each one of those qualities and make an effort to work on them, one at a time. The best way to affect a change is to only tackle the first one until you are satisfied that you have really managed to turn that quality around. Then you can move onto the next one.
- Develop and express a personality that is emotionally compelling: You may be so intense and so focused on what you are doing that you don't realize that you appear cold and detached to other people. An example of this might be that you are paying more attention to your Blackberry than you are to your business associate at lunch. It is very easy to forget about everything and everyone when you are focused on business. You should try to avoid this at all cost. There is nothing worse (on the other side) than feeling as though the person has absolutely no interest in what you are saying and feeling. It can be the kiss of death for business. You want to set a positive tone from the very beginning and make sure that it is maintained throughout the entire time that you are at the meeting.
- When spending time with business associates, use their name often (but not too often): All people want to feel that they are being treated as human beings, not numbers. Using their name will instantly personalize your relationship with them. It will put them at ease and they will relate to you on a much more personal level than if you treat them as though they are a business.
- Smile: Always start with a smile when you are greeting other people. This applies to in-person meetings as well as telephone conversations. There are many expressed personality traits that will cause others to like you: friendliness (nonverbally expressing to others that you like them and appearing to be honest and open), empathy (clearly expressing that you have been in their shoes and totally understand how they feel), realness (expressing integrity, which will make other people understand your sincerity and will make them like you) and relevance (making other people understand that you share their interests and their concerns).
- Get other members of your online communities to like you: It is important for everyone to feel valued, appreciated, and feel that what they are doing is important to other people. Over time, you will form relationships with people in person and with people online. The online relationships need as much care and nurturing as the in-person relationships. An excellent way to build up those online relationships is by sharing an article that someone else has posted or pushing the "like" button. You can also leave a comment in response to something that you have read online.
- Tread very lightly when it comes to criticism: A common reaction to criticism is hurt feelings. Your approach, if you feel that you must offer criticism, should be as pleasant and as constructive as possible. Make sure (always) that your criticism is of the work, not the person. Try to focus on the positives as much as possible at the same time.
- Give emotional value: The reason for the success of your business is not just about dollars and cents. You didn't successfully sell anything without the emotional foundation that you have with your clients. You must protect their feelings at all times and make them feel good about doing business with them. The stronger your emotional relationship with your customers, the more successful your business will be.
- Deal with complaints gracefully: The reality is that you will at some point receive complaints about some aspect of your business. That will be a true test of your likeability. It is very easy to be pleasant when things are going well. It is more difficult to be pleasant when things are not going so well. Always, put your best foot forward and treat everyone with respect and consideration.
Likeability is an extraordinarily important part of your business's success. If people don't like who you are as a person, they won't buy anything from you. Remember to keep those three elements in mind at all times: knowledge and expertise, integrity and fitting in. They are all essential.
We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. Please contact us at CompuKol Communications for further discussion on how we might be able to assist you and your team and don't forget to "like" our Facebook page.
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