So likability is an elusive quality. It doesn’t mean always being perky and bright and constantly being happy. What makes each of us likable is distinct to us, and to some degree it’s in the mind of the beholder. But the basic drivers of likability are the same for most of us, and Michelle Tillis Lederman, in her new book “The 11 Laws of Likability” has summarized these nicely:
- Be your authentic self. Don’t try to be someone that you are not. Other people quickly see through this façade, and lose respect. Find the good in difficult situations or personalities. Work on improving the real you, rather than building a better façade.
- Curiosity never killed a conversation. Showing genuine curiosity about a person’s job, life, interests, opinions, or needs is the best way to start a conversation, keep it going, and make you likable. Check for matching needs for help rather than demanding help.
- Give something without expecting a return. There are countless ways to give freely to others, including making introductions, sharing resources, doing favors, and giving advice. What goes around comes around.
Which is more important for success, your likeability or business savvy?
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