The Matter of Likeability

The Matter of Likeability

Navigating the lightning-pace of the 21st Century is not always an easy task, even with technological advances. Those who excel are skilled in decision making, forming emotional bonds, and influencing others. It often comes down to a matter of likeability. Peruse any book store and you can find a plethora of titles encouraging us to care less about what others think; to not give a !@#$. This recent trend reveals our vulnerability to conforming, people pleasing, and lacking healthy boundaries. But the truth is, likeable people cultivate skills that support, encourage, and unite others, often toward common goals. New research published in The Economic Journal finds that likeability is an influencing factor in interactions between women, as well as interactions between men and women, but not in all-male interactions. The researchers conducted experiments where participants rated the likeability of other participants, based on photographs. Likeability is more than a display of niceness, agreement, or even our looks. And, likeability can be learned, practiced, and improved. It requires great self-awareness, self-care, and people-skills. What is Likeability? Likeability is the combination of who, how and why: who we are (our personality and physical traits), how we interact with others (our social skills), and why—our motivations. Traits: a characteristic Personality/Character traits Sense of humor Open-minded Physical Traits Facial features Skills Ability to listen well Ability to express empathy Self-awareness Knowledge Attitudes Positivity Beliefs Values Behaviors Tone in communication Credibility Your credibility is a critical factor in your likeability. According to marketing expert Rohit Bhargava, author of Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior, and Inspiring Action (Wiley, 2012), “People decide who to...
Leader Insights Improve Innovation

Leader Insights Improve Innovation

As a leader, are you known for your insights? Consider this: In January 2018, the World Economic Outlook (WEO) reported the broadest synchronized global growth upsurge since 2010, and estimated positive growth through 2020. But in December 2019, they reported the weakest pace since the financial crisis a decade ago. According to the WEO, “rising trade barriers and associated uncertainty weighed on business sentiment and activity globally.” On January 20, 2020, they reported that despite prominent risks, “global growth may be bottoming out,” suggesting that we are on the cusp of great change. And while many leaders and organizations take a cautious, wait and see approach, great leaders recognize the opportunities for innovation. They think beyond adaptation, drive change, and make significant contributions that shape our future. Leaders who are known for their insight identify fresh trends and actively prepare new products and services—before a need or problem is even identified. They instill an innovative mindset throughout their organization. Insightful leaders simultaneously improve efficiencies today, and prepare for the demands of tomorrow. Innovation is not a choice. However, a lack of insight often results in a lack of innovation. Leader insights improve innovation. Barriers to Insight Insight is a process. Unfortunately, we often create barriers for insights to occur. We: Over focus on risk management and compliance, and leave little room for creativity and insights. Emphasize efficiency and effort on short-term goals, and discourage insight and innovation. Set unrealistic deadlines that actually inhibit opportunities for insight. Adopt a win-at-all-cost mentality that increases pressure and squelches opportunities for insight. Fail to recognize our own bias, assumptions, blind spots, and leave...