Whether or not we admit it, we all want to be liked on some level, and our style of communication can help or hinder achieving the likability we crave. Brother and sister duo, Kathy and Ross Petras, who teamed up to write what they call “word-oriented books,” have put together the following tips containing common mistakes that the most likeable people avoid:
- “Not greeting people.” This can be a challenge for those of us who are not morning people or who are straight to the point people. However, a quick hello, good afternoon, etc. can go a long way.
- “Doing all the talking.” How many training classes have we all been through that tell us how important it is to listen? Who wants to feel like an audience when talking, or in this case, trying to talk with someone.
- “Not being present.” I’m sure most, if not all, of us have been in a conversation with someone who made it clear they wanted to be somewhere else. Those are not the people we want to try to engage with again.
- “Not inviting the other person to elaborate.” Ask questions to get more detail; let the talker know you are interested in what they have to say.
- “Lacking curiosity.” Ask questions that pertain specifically to what you are hearing.
- “Refusing to admit fault.” I’m sorry are two little words that go a long way not only to building a relationship, but also to show your integrity.
- “Not giving acknowledgement or compliments.” When we receive positive feedback, we are encouraged to do more. It can be hard to find motivation to work for someone who never expresses appreciation or good words for their employees.
- “Not letting people know when they’ve helped you.” Unless you fall into one of the narcissist categories I wrote about previously, most of us want to help others. If someone has helped you, let them know. We can all use a boost from time to time and knowing that we helped someone can do just that.
- “Only caring about your own opinions.” Someone recently asked me what I liked best about working at ASE. I shared that one of the first things that impressed me was how everyone has a voice here. We are not only allowed but are expected to give our opinions to contribute in various ways.
- “Saying, ‘Are you sure you can do it?’” Don’t sew seeds of doubt. Instead, support the person in believing in their own abilities.
- “Ignoring those who seem left out.” Invite the quiet people in the room to share. Introverts often have helpful input but may need to be invited to share.
- “Always being negative.” It is exhausting being around someone who is negative all the time. It may take some practice, but we can all train ourselves to respond in the most positive way possible for any given situation.
- “Failing to express gratitude.” If you want the most out of your personal and/or professional relationships, “Thank You” are two little words that can have a big impact. In addition to be liked, we all want to be appreciated.