a cartoon illustration with a guy voted as most likeable

Are you an authentic and likeable person? How do you know? Start by asking this question: Is the room better when you enter it or leave it? Would your friends, family, and colleagues answer the same way?

Life is easier for likeable people. According to Pam Holloway in her article, “The Secret of Likeability”, here are just a few of the benefits of being a likeable person:

  • More successful in business and in life.
  • Get elected, promoted, and rewarded more often than those less likable people.
  • Close more sales and make more money.
  • Get better service from all types of service providers, including doctors and other health care providers.
  • We are also far more likely to be influenced by people that we like.

Take your likeability factor to the next level by following these simple tips:

1. Laugh at yourself

We enjoy being around people we can relate to, and most people can relate to getting embarrassed, doing or saying something wrong, or being klutzy. A little self-deprecating humor goes a long way. Rather than try to play it cool when a “not-so-cool” thing happens, laugh at yourself. Don’t be afraid to be authentic. It will make people want to connect with you.

2. Be interested, not interesting

While likeable people may be more interesting to talk to, the fact that they are interested is what makes them likeable. Rather than trying to be the center of attention, likeable people want to learn about and understand the people around them. They ask questions, pay attention, and stay engaged. Perhaps most importantly, likeable people are good listeners.

3. Put people over technology

When was the last time you were at a restaurant and didn’t see people looking at their phone while eating, even when they are with other people? There is a time and place for technology, and likeable people know what it is. When you are with someone, be present with them. Rather than check your smart phone every time it buzzes, put devices on do not disturb while you are in a conversation. The last time I was in a conversation where someone pulled out their phone and said, “Hold on, let me put this on do not disturb so I can listen to you” was well, never.

4. Smile. Smile. Smile

It is such an easy thing to do, yet so many people struggle to do it! Studies have shown that people who smile are perceived as more sincere and competent, as well as a whole lot more likeable. And smiling really is contagious. When one person smiles, it makes it difficult for someone looking at that person to suppress their facial muscles, making it extremely difficult not to smile.

5. Use “Mirroring”

We tend to like those like us. Pay attention to non-verbal ques (excitability, gestures, volume, rate, pitch, etc.) and match them. While you don’t want to be insincere, try to engage others at their level of intensity. If you’re talking with someone that is hugely animated and talks very fast, maintaining a slow, monotone voice while sitting on your hands probably won’t be perceived as likeable.

Share your comments and suggestions on ways to build your “likeability”!


  1. Ann, as always I look forward to your posts. On the subject of likability how about this? I care. I really don’t really “care” care; I care so that people will think I am a good person. Yeah, that’s the ticket. I see that is most politicians.

  2. Thanks for your comment, JK 😉 Good to hear from you. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), you really do need to care. It goes back to the question, “Am I trying to be right or get it right?” Getting it right means taking the time to care because you know if will help you accomplish your goal.

  3. Great overview and reminders, Anne. Reminds me that the golden rule still applies. Treat people how you want to be treated. Especially, “people over technology”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment