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11 Habits Of Ridiculously Likeable People


08/28/2016 05:52 pm ET | Updated Aug 29, 2016

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Dr. Travis Bradberry


Author of #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and president of
TalentSmart, worlds leading provider of emotional intelligence.

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Too many people succumb to the mistaken belief that being likeable comes
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from natural, unteachable traits that belong only to a lucky fewthe good
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When I speak to smaller audiences, I often ask them to describe the most
likeable people they have ever worked with. People inevitably ignore innate
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characteristics (intelligence, extraversion, attractiveness, and so on) and
instead focus on qualities that are completely under peoples control, such as
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approachability, humility, and positivity.

These qualities, and others like them, describe people who are skilled in 468 K Podcast
emotional intelligence (EQ). TalentSmart research data from more than a
million people shows that people who possess these skills arent just highly Add us on Snapchat
likeable, they outperform those who dont by a large margin. Ninety percent of
top performers have high EQs, people with high EQs make $29,000 more
annually than people with low EQs, and a single-point increase in your EQ

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adds $1,300 to your salary. I could go on and on.

Being likeable is under your control, and its a matter of emotional intelligence.
Unlike innate, fixed characteristics, such as your intelligence (IQ), EQ is a
flexible skill that you can improve with effort.

To help you improve your EQ, I did some digging to uncover the key behaviors
that emotionally intelligent people engage in that make them so likeable.

1. They are genuine. Being genuine and honest is essential to being likeable.
No one likes a fake. People gravitate toward those who are genuine because
they know they can trust them. It is difficult to like someone when you dont
know who they really are and how they really feel.

Likeable people know who they are. They are confident enough to be
comfortable in their own skin. By concentrating on what drives you and makes
you happy as an individual, you become a much more interesting person than
if you attempt to win people over by making choices that you think will make
them like you.

2. They ask thoughtful questions. The biggest mistake people make when it
comes to listening is theyre so focused on what theyre going to say next or
how what the other person is saying is going to affect them that they fail to
hear whats being said. The words come through loud and clear, but the
meaning is lost. A simple way to avoid this is to ask a lot of questions. People
like to know youre listening, and something as simple as a clarification
question shows that not only are you listening, you also care about what
theyre saying. Youll be surprised how much respect and appreciation you
gain just by asking questions.

3. They dont pass judgment. If you want to be likeable you must be


open-minded. Being open-minded makes you approachable and interesting to
others. No one wants to have a conversation with someone who has already
formed an opinion and is not willing to listen.

Having an open mind is crucial in the workplace where approachability means


access to new ideas and help. To eliminate preconceived notions and
judgment, you need to see the world through other peoples eyes. This doesnt
require you believe what they believe or condone their behavior, it simply
means you quit passing judgment long enough to truly understand what
makes them tick. Only then can you let them be who they are.

4. They dont seek attention. People are averse to those who are desperate
for attention. You dont need to develop a big, extroverted personality to be
likeable. Simply being friendly and considerate is all you need to win people
over. When you speak in a friendly, confident, and concise manner, you will
notice that people are much more attentive and persuadable than if you try to
show them youre important. People catch on to your attitude quickly and are
more attracted to the right attitude than whator how many peopleyou
know.

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When youre being given attention, such as when youre being recognized for
an accomplishment, shift the focus to all the people who worked hard to help
you get there. This may sound clich, but if its genuine, the fact that you pay
attention to others and appreciate their help will show that youre appreciative
and humbletwo adjectives that are closely tied to likeability.

5. They are consistent. Few things make you more unlikeable than when
youre all over the place. When people approach you, they like to know whom
theyre dealing with and what sort of response they can expect. To be
consistent you must be reliable, and you must ensure that even when your
mood goes up and down it doesnt affect how you treat other people.

6. They use positive body language. Becoming cognizant of your gestures,


expressions, and tone of voice (and making certain theyre positive) will draw
people to you like ants to a picnic. Using an enthusiastic tone, uncrossing your
arms, maintaining eye contact, and leaning towards the person whos
speaking are all forms of positive body language that high-EQ people use to
draw others in. Positive body language can make all the difference in a
conversation.

Its true that how you say something can be more important than what you
say.

7. They leave a strong first impression. Research shows most people


decide whether or not they like you within the first seven seconds of meeting
you. They then spend the rest of the conversation internally justifying their
initial reaction. This may sound terrifying, but by knowing this you can take
advantage of it to make huge gains in your likeability. First impressions are
tied intimately to positive body language. Strong posture, a firm handshake,
smiling, and opening your shoulders to the person you are talking to will help
ensure that your first impression is a good one.

8. They greet people by name. Your name is an essential part of your


identity, and it feels terrific when people use it. Likeable people make certain
they use others names every time they see them. You shouldnt use
someones name only when you greet him. Research shows that people feel
validated when the person theyre speaking with refers to them by name
during a conversation.

If youre great with faces but have trouble with names, have some fun with it
and make remembering peoples names a brain exercise. When you meet
someone, dont be afraid to ask her name a second time if you forget it right
after you hear it. Youll need to keep her name handy if youre going to
remember it the next time you see her.

9. They smile. People naturally (and unconsciously) mirror the body language
of the person theyre talking to. If you want people to like you, smile at them
during a conversation and they will unconsciously return the favor and feel
good as a result.

10. They know who to touch (and they touch them). When you touch

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someone during a conversation, you release oxytocin in their brain, a


neurotransmitter that makes their brain associate you with trust and a slew of
other positive feelings. A simple touch on the shoulder, a hug, or a friendly
handshake is all it takes to release oxytocin. Of course, you have to touch the
right person in the right way to release oxytocin, as unwanted or inappropriate
touching has the opposite effect. Just remember, relationships are built not
just from words, but also from general feelings about each other. Touching
someone appropriately is a great way to show you care.

11. They balance passion and fun. People gravitate toward those who are
passionate. That said, its easy for passionate people to come across as too
serious or uninterested because they tend to get absorbed in their work.
Likeable people balance their passion with the ability to have fun. At work they
are serious, yet friendly. They still get things done because they are socially
effective in short amounts of time and they capitalize on valuable social
moments. They minimize small talk and gossip and instead focus on having
meaningful interactions with their coworkers. They remember what you said to
them yesterday or last week, which shows that youre just as important to
them as their work.

Bringing It All Together

Likeable people are invaluable and unique. They network with ease, promote
harmony in the workplace, bring out the best in everyone around them, and
generally seem to have the most fun. Add these skills to your repertoire and
watch your likeability soar!

Please share your thoughts in the comment section, as I learn just as much
from you as you do from me.

Follow Dr. Travis Bradberry on Twitter:


www.twitter.com/talentsmarteq

More: Business Self-help Self-improvement Self-awareness Parenting

This Bloggers Books and Other Items from...

Emotional Intelligence 2.0


by Travis Bradberry, Jean Greaves

Comments

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Diane Katherine Edmonton, Alberta


I absolutely agree with these but unfortunately I have not had positive experience all the time. When
it came to a manager I became a threat through being so likeable and made me question myself
causing me to loose my self confidence and some of the above qualities.
Like Reply 12 Aug 29, 2016 10:22am

Mary Ellen Noonan Beaver College/Arcadia University


Yes, a bad manager can suck the life (and Likeability) right out of you.
Like Reply 2 Sep 3, 2016 2:18am

Emily Chibwana La Trobe University


This might as well say: "how to be likeable: change everything about yourself overnight!"
Not really, but the level of work that has to go into changing even ONE of these habits is huge. I've
been working building some of these skills for years, and there are some of these points that are
easier said than done, when they don't come naturally/haven't been taught early.

I think the first step to building positive relationships with others is self-acceptance. If you don't like
yourself, it's harder for others to like you. If you do like yourself, it's easier to not care when other
people don't like you. Find the things you like about yourself and build on them. Find the things you
like less about yourself and work on them. And try to let go of caring about whether people like you or
not.
Like Reply 4 Aug 31, 2016 1:08pm

Thomas Goss Presenter at Radio New Zealand


Chuck out #7. If #1 is correct, and someone is genuine, then they cannot be obsessing over first
impressions, because that's a form of dishonesty. If you are truly genuine, then the first impressions
you leave people with will accurately reflect who you are, for good or bad. Also - it's a trademark of
phony people that they know how to manipulate others with good first impressions. So replace #7
with the feature "They take care of the people that matter to them." Communities aren't just things
that you take from - they're things you give to and nurture.
Like Reply 7 Aug 30, 2016 2:22am Edited

Theresa Behenna Motivational speaker at Theresa Talks


Excellent tips that have all worked well for me over the past 25+ years on and off the professional
stage. People and audiences can smell 'fake' a long way off. A smile can break down barriers of fear
and intimidation and using someone's name in conversation builds a strong bond. As an Australian
born immigrant living in the USA, I understand the British gentleman Toby's remarks below as I was
raised with the same culture. However, I've since discovered one can miss out on many opportunities
by clinging to such conservative beliefs.
Like Reply Aug 31, 2016 4:14am

Tan Lee Yin USM


Absolutely great tips. I'd practised some of the aspects and the result was that colleagues who had
harboured enmity turned out to be friends till this day. Sincerity could be the best policy as time
reveals it.
Like Reply Aug 31, 2016 11:34am

Sui Generis Baguio City, Philippines


I'm not sure but I can relate to some of these traits, and honestly speaking I don't see or meet many
people like these that I try my best to emanate these characteristics, as the saying goes, "Be the
change you want to see in the world."
Like Reply Aug 30, 2016 4:41am

Bruce Dunklin Retired at Retired


Some good advice.

I would add to #4 -- Don't Seek Attention -- don't be a blustery braggart (use Donald Trump as an
example). I know someone who constantly brags (including embellishing, exaggerating and outright
lying) about himself and it is a real turnoff.

Another thing I would add is follow through on what you say. Say what you're going to do and do what
you say. When someone flakes on me once I tend to cut them some slack and give them another
chance. But if they do it twice then to me they ARE a flake and I either cut back or eliminate my
interaction with them.

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