The Simple Secret to Likeability

“If the world were run perfectly, perhaps you would be promoted, advanced, and rewarded on the basis of sheer ability. But the world doesn’t work that way or even close to that way. When your superiors look for someone to promote, they look for someone they know and like. So go out and make yourself likable. That’s just how the winning players play the game.” 
-Ben Stein

When you hear the word likability, it may conjure up negative terms like “people-pleaser,” “fake,” and “superficial.” But in reality, likability plays a crucial role in career success.

Think about it:

  • If you are a presenter and the audience doesn’t like you, they won’t care what you have to say.
  • If you own a business and you aren’t welcoming to customers, they will go somewhere else.
  • If you are interviewing for a position and you are not engaging, they will choose someone else.

A lot has been written about likability, and most of it is helpful. But I think it all boils down to this: if you want someone to like you, like them. Period. Done. End of story. We like those who like us. 

We will not have warm feelings towards everyone we meet, but being kind is a choice. This is not being fake, its being professional.

Likability plays a big part in success. It may not be fair, it may not be just, but you would be naive to think it is not true.