What makes us likable?
The idea of “likability” can be subjective depending on who you ask. A lot of the things that immediately come to mind are traits that are inherently present in an individual; things that are “just there” such as extroversion or even physical attractiveness. However, when you ask people who the most likable ones in their workplace are, they’ll usually talk about personality traits that are within one’s control.
In his article, Travis Bradberry suggests that most of the time, likable people have traits that aren’t inherent; they’re traits that people actively try to display to others, particularly their coworkers. Some of the most important one Bradberry notes are below:
- Body language and first impressions: Bradberry suggests that one of the most important factors as to whether someone presents as likable is how they physically interact with others. Likable people use positive body language, such as smiling, shaking hands, and making eye contact. Using these tools, likable people tend to make great first impressions, a critical component in how an individual is viewed going forward. Likable people tend to know everyone’s name, and make everyone feel acknowledged.
- Humbleness and judgement: Additionally, Bradberry says that the most likable people tend to be very approachable, humble, and non-judgmental. Likable people remain neutral in situations, and tend to present as a mediator. Being friendly and understanding encourages others to feel comfortable around you, and the more comfortable people are with you, the more likable you appear.
Being your authentic self is half the battle of being seen as likable, particularly in the work place. Greet people by name and look them in the eye when you interact. Make them feel acknowledged and be approachable.