In 1980 when the well-known actress Sally Field won her first Oscar for her role in “Norma Rae”, she tearfully and sincerely spoke these words, “You like me…right now…you like me!”
The desire to be liked is a part of our human nature. In the business environment it is important for a leader to be likeable—but not too likeable, lest they be mistaken for a pushover.
Why is this so important for leaders? A likeable leader will create a positive and productive work environment that will pay off for everyone involved. Here are some tips for being a likeable boss without giving in when it counts.
Encourage honesty, and lead by example. Show that being honest, even when it’s hard, is always the right choice.
People like you when you are genuine. Be complimentary. Be impressed. Admit a failing or a weakness. Know that everyone is more skilled than you at something. The best thing that you can do is let them be better than you!
This doesn’t mean that you treat everyone exactly the same across the board. To be fair, you must assess each employee and determine what motivates that person as well as those things that cause a negative response. This assessment will enable you to focus on what you can do for your employee—and they will respond positively.
A likeable person is masterful in getting you to talk about yourself without you even knowing it! How do they do it? They ask a question that invites the how, why and who of the other person. Asking sincere questions shows respect for the individual. In addition, when you ask the right questions of employees this helps you enhance productivity (always a plus!)
The steps to becoming likeable include a commitment to honesty, sincerity, fairness, and acknowledging the value of your fellow man. Although this may seem unconventional for what is expected of a leader, you will find the rewards to be gained will be fulfilling both personally and collectively in your organization.
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