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3 Simple Changes to Become More Likable

Being intentional about your likability is important, because it can help in your career. Here are three simple things to try that will help.

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BY John Brandon - 06 Nov 2018

3 Simple Changes to Become More Likable

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Making yourself more likable takes work.

Some of us have to work harder than others. However, in most cases, it's your body language, attitude, and outlook on life that determines whether people like you. Act like a jerk all day in the office and you won't have many friends. That's pretty obvious. Yet, if you follow a few simple practices, you can become a more likable person. Here's how.

Stand a little closer to people

Be careful with this tip, because "a little too close" can make things awkward or even create an inappropriate vibe. What I'm talking about is moving a hair closer--almost like the classic "lean in to listen" you should do in a meeting--to let people know you are attentive and interested. It's all about your body language. Those who stand a ways off tend to be not as likable because they seem aloof. Standing a little closer to people makes you more likable because those you are speaking to and interacting with feel like they are worth your time and attention. And, we like people who seem attentive to us. (That's especially true at work.)

Ask direct questions

One of the easiest ways to build camaraderie and rapport with someone--in other words, to make them like you more--is to ask direct questions. What have you been learning about at work? What have you been doing for fun lately? Amazingly, people don't do this as much as you'd think. They are too busy trying to answer questions. The reason this works so well is that those you work with on a daily basis like to know you are interested in them. And, we all like to be helpful. It's also a curious fact that we like to be around people who like us.

Make yourself more interesting

I wrote about this topic recently in the context of how it makes you more interesting. But becoming more interesting also makes you more likable. The trick is to relay enough salient details and enrich your conversations, and to create light-bulbs moments for people--have a larger point that sparks ideas. When you do this, people will want to be around you, to learn from your insight. Think of people who are not likable. Sure, it might be body odor or a bad attitude. In most cases, when someone is not likable they are also not interesting--they are bland and you can't learn anything from them. Don't be that person.

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