Driving twenty-one hours from Arizona to Washington makes one wonder, “How did the westward expansion pioneers cross endless miles of Nevada sagebrush with their minds intact without Sirius satellite radio and GPS?” One asks, “When will the Wi-Fi be up? Where is the next rest stop? Are we there yet?” (No, we’re still driving.) Yet, the thing I am pondering most is likability. As in, my travel buddies are extremely likable and this trip would be painful if not for their pleasant company. There is nothing else quite like being sequestered in a small confine with other human beings to test and confirm the value of likability.
My travel buddies are well-practiced in basic behaviors and skills that can be learned by anyone to build rapport and connect with others. Here’s a summary of How To Get People To Like You: 7 Ways From An FBI Behavior Expert,
- Focus on them. Really listen, don’t just wait to talk.
- Ask them questions; don’t try to come up with stories to impress.
- Ask people about what’s been challenging them.
- Establishing a time constraint early in the conversation can put strangers at ease.
- Smile, chin down, blade your body, palms up, open and upward non-verbals.
- If you think someone is trying to manipulate you, clarify goals. Don’t be hostile or aggressive, but ask them to be straight about what they want.
Likable behaviors and skills, such as smiling and listening, can be genuine and avoid being manipulative when they come from true respect. This is especially true when we move from building rapport with strangers to engaging with those we’ll encounter regularly, such as work colleagues, social media networks, and friends. Here are a few examples of respectful rapport building principles from 10 ridiculously simple steps to becoming more likable,
- Confident doesn’t mean stuck up, and humble doesn’t mean insecure. There is a middle ground between narcissistic and timid. This is where the likable people live.
- If you want to be a charmer, go for the elaborate flattery. If you want to become more likable, keep the compliments sincere.
Being sincerely likable includes telling the truth and showing true emotions, especially to those we love and call family. Likable can move past a superficial level to lovable when those involved are trust worthy and engaged. For example, children can be taught and practice being likable within the context of family as described in the article, Is your child likable?
- Kids need to know how to let others “hold the floor” – constantly interrupting, blurting out, and talking only about themselves undermines likability
- Kids need to know how to play cooperatively – how to take turns, work together, and listen to other points of view
- Kids should know how to be gracious – they should share in others’ joy and be a good sport
- Kids should know how to bring themselves to their interactions with others – being overly withdrawn is not an asset with peers
- Kids should know how to be positive – having enthusiasm is much more appealing than being the naysayer
Driving twenty-one hours back to Arizona from Washington challenges me to ask myself, “How can I be more likable to my travel buddies? Be a better listener? Ask about the challenges they face? Compliment them? Engage positively?” Especially when the Wi-Fi is down and the nearest rest stop is 134 miles away.
Do you value likability in yourself or others? Do you consider yourself likable, why or why not? Do others consider you likable? Which likability skill is your weakest or strongest?
Best ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc