“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” ~ John Wooden
This is not some secret sauce, code or insider information and it’s not complicated. Likability is a powerful, intangible super power to have in our professional toolbox.
In observing how people approach networking for many years, it is clear how powerful the likability factor is to open conversations, doors and new relationships. People are often asking how they can generate more connections, leads and make more sales. Your likability factor is a big key in opening this door.
Truth is likability, trust, character and the experience we create for people and each other are professional absolutes. Likability has won presidential elections, has fueled comebacks and has sold millions of movie and concert tickets, products and books. “Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior, and Inspiring Action,” by Rohit Bhargava begins and ends with the idea that “Personal relationships are the only currency that matters.”
Companies and clients don’t hire or refer you, people do. So your likability factor is the front door that helps get things started. Below are some of the top assets that can boost your likability factor.
How to Boost Your Likability Factor
Smarts, emotional intelligence and being knowledgeable about what we do can apply to carpentry or engineering. Be a student of your industry and know the most you can about it. Don’t try to fudge your way through things because they are “hot.” You’ll be exposed for what you don’t know quickly. Your goal is to be thought of as “the best of” in your field.
Establish your expertise over time and leverage all the results, testimonials and people you touch and help. Publish a book, blog, speak, write, volunteer or take on a project so people can see you in action.
Stick with the truth and it will always set you free. If you screw up or make a mistake, come forward and come clean as soon as you can in the most appropriate way. Take a cue from Martha Stewart, Robert Downey Jr., or Bill Clinton.
Create the most enjoyable experience you can with people, so that they remember you for that. Deliver it whenever you have an opportunity to.
Nothing is worse than negative complainers who always see the glass as half empty. It’s a downer and won’t advance your charisma. Find the silver lining, the ray of light in the clouds and work on your positivity. Good energy is viral.
I would say this one quality has more impact on success today than most. Consistency allows people to know what to expect from us and keeps us top of mind. Even moderate consistency of good work can yield results and work really well.
Meet Generation C, the connected culture and customer. Being digitally and socially connected is valuable capital today. Using influence, clout and community to educate and inspire is a brand asset that can advance not only you, but colleagues, ideas, issues and, yes — sales.
The power of kindness, caring and tolerance never, ever goes out of style, so make it a brand accessory daily. Especially in the Generation C (connectivity) culture and younger generations, it is indispensable, so build character and reputation around this.
Be exactly who you are. Let your personality, sense of humor, attitude and values shine and thrive everyday. Lead with humility, use your assets and minimize your liabilities.
Think about all the people that you like a lot. What are the qualities and assets that you like most about them and why? Your likability factor is a secret sauce and weapon. Lead with it , emulate it and channel it.