We spend a whole lot of time talking and thinking about things and people we like.  But every once in a while it’s just as, if not more, important to stop and ask yourself, “Am I likeable?”

Want to find out if you’re perceived as likeable?  Take a moment to answer these questions:

  1.  Do you try to be interested or interesting?
  2.  Do you listen to understand or to be understood?
  3.  Do you give people the benefit of the doubt?
  4.  When communicating, is your goal to get it right or to be right?
  5.  Do you pay attention to your nonverbal communication?

Here’s a breakdown of why each of these are so important:

Interested or interesting:

Dale Carnegie once said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”  What do you spend more time doing?

Listen to understand or to be understood:

When communicating, do you spend the majority of your time trying to get people to understand your point of view, or do you ask questions to try to understand their frame of reference and where they’re coming from?  People who listen to understand are perceived as more interesting and likeable.

Giving people the benefit of the doubt:

If you’ve ever seen someone act rudely, chances are, you made an assumption about them as a person.  If however you’ve acted rudely, you probably knew that wasn’t your intention, it was just a bad day.  We are often guilty of judging ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior.  Be generous and give others the benefit of the doubt.

Communicating to get it right, not to be right:

We often get so caught up in trying to be right, that we forget the actual goal of our communication.  The next time you’re in a conflict or a tenuous situation, stop and ask yourself, “What is my goal?  Am I trying to be right or get it right?”

Nonverbal communication:

Everything from our eye contact and body language to the way we dress and carry ourselves communicates about us.  What message are you sending to others?  Do you look at people while they are talking, or are you checking your phone for a new email?  Do you fidget or stand confidently?  What does your nonverbal communication say about you?

Chances are, you are pretty darn likeable just the way you are, but it never hurts to try to improve.

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