Likability for Success

Is it increasingly important to be likable at work to be successful? The Wall Street Journal thinks so.

According to WSJ, "[l]ikable people are more apt to be hired, get help at work, get useful information from others and have mistakes forgiven." The article goes on to discuss coming across as likable on video.

And Findlaw thinks that it is more important for women to be likable than men in order to be successful. "The interplay between likability and success has been debated since Machiavelli's 'The Prince' hit the printing presses. He famously pondered the question 'whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved?' His answer to male politicians (then and now): 'It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved.' Women have not fared so well with this advice [after all] Machiavelli didn't write 'The Princess.'"

They go on to offer 4 tips for women to be likable and successful:
1. Authenticity - strive to be genuine and don't fake the funk. If you don't care how someone's day is, don't ask.
2. Honesty - when giving feedback, be honest, not overly critical.
3. Integrity - leading by example is a great way to not only set expectations but also show how you expect work to be done.
4. Hard Work - no matter how authentic, honest or likable you are, you're going to have to put your time in.

I'm not sure how any of this is different for men than for women, but Findlaw says, "clearly the guys have to do this too, but it seems like they might get a bit more leeway."

Maybe they are right. It might be more important for women to be likable than men, but I think both sexes would do well to remember these 4 tips for a happy workplace environment for all.


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