Back To Career News

How to Be More Likable (Really)

Topics: Career Advice

It’s easy to forget the subtleties of currying favor with your co-workers, your boss, or even strangers at a networking event. But, if you’re likable, you’re also likely more memorable to those you encounter at work and beyond, which could come in handy, the next time you’re job searching or angling for a promotion. Even if you’re a grump 90 percent of your workday while you’re hunched over at your computer, there are ways that you can exude likability when you encounter living, breathing co-workers.


(Photo Credit: JD Hancock/Flickr)

1. Stay Offline and Engaged

Do You Know What You're Worth?

When you’re sitting down to talk to someone and their eyes keep glancing at their phone every few seconds, it’s hard to feel like you’re getting their full, valued attention. Staying off your phone and making eye contact while interacting with others is the easiest way to say, “Hey, I’m taking time to talk to you right now. You are important to me.” And, like eye contact, showing that attention to others helps them to feel valued, and in return, you get bonus points in their book. When you’re offline in real-life, you also get the added perk of experiencing the world around you (sans Pokémon). It’s a win/win!

2. Get Better at Small Talk

Instead of a grunt-and-hide maneuver in the breakroom, try working on your small-talk skills. This means being able to converse (that’s back AND forth, not an emotional hijacking) with others so that you inquire, engage, and enlighten them with some life experience. Small talk is a great thing to practice, too, so that when someone asks you how your weekend was, you don’t blurt out “YES!” (You see how that can get a little awkward?)

3. Ask for Their Opinion

When you put yourself out there and ask someone for help or their advice about something, you (you guessed it) make them feel valued. When Cheryl from Accounting needs some assistance finding the right folder on the server for the monthly paychecks, and you are able to successfully guide her there (with kindness and courtesy), she’s going to think well of you. Thanks for helping Cheryl out! That was really nice of you!

4. Find the Common Ground

It’s easy to find ways to disagree with others at work, especially in a situation where you’re fighting for control of a project. You might feel a bit like work has turned into a Thunderdome at times (where two men enter, and one man leaves), but it doesn’t have to be that way. Liked people are often those who find the middle path, where everyone feels respected and listened to. Try thinking about where your colleagues are coming from, and see things from their point of view. If you can express disagreement with some diplomacy, you’ll come off as a wise and reasonable person, and might even win the day more often.

Tell Us What You Think

Have you ever tried any of these types of tips to come off as more likable? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Notify of
What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.