I’ve seen not one, but two articles recently about the traits of likeable people (I’m choosing not to read too far into that – either way). So, it serves to think that people are wondering about certain traits that make a person pleasing to be around in day-to-day life.
One of those articles lists 28 characteristics, another lists 11 and the overlap is consistent, which leads me to believe this is solid advice.
If you’re looking to find out what traits you have in common with likeable people, and what traits you may want to work on, there’s a quick list of features below.
The phrase “emotional intelligence” comes to mind – being able to successfully handle your emotions and navigate relationships (including work relationships).
Oh, and one more thing! The advice from both is the same: Likability is not necessarily inherent and can be learned and practiced over time to improve. (There’s advice below on how to do that, too.)
This is the comprehensive list from Inc.com:
The 28 Habits of Likable People
- They treat others in the same way they want to be treated.
- They give as much as they take.
- They create meaningful relationships.
- They don’t insist that they’re right, and they’re open to hear your viewpoint.
- They ask questions, instead of making statements.
- They listen attentively, and don’t interrupt.
- They are accountable to themselves and others.
- They communicate directly and authentically (not passive aggressively).
- They smile.
- They ask, “How are you?” (and genuinely mean it).
- They are empathetic.
- They give you their full attention.
- They ask, “How can I help?”
- They hold space for you to become the person you strive to be, but don’t judge you for being who you are, or where you are.
- They avoid arguments.
- They laugh at themselves.
- They are confident yet have a sense of humility.
- They uphold a healthy set of boundaries.
- They aren’t afraid to give genuine praise to others.
- They don’t take your power or give their power away.
- They don’t complain.
- They don’t preach at you or give unsolicited advice.
- They don’t expect you to be perfect.
- They apologize (and don’t view it as a sign of weakness).
- They want you to be successful and happy (in life and in business).
- They don’t seek (or need) your approval.
- They listen to learn (not to speak).
- They like to have fun.
Tools to help you be more likable
Amidst the sea of gimmicks, influencers and imposter coaches, there are a few tools and resources that can help you become a more likable person. Here’s a few that I’ve explored:
- Read “How to Win Friends and Influence People”by Dale Carnegie.
- Learn to love yourself. While it’s easier said than done, I’ve learned that I treat others better when I start treating myself better. Compassion goes a long way.
- Read “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High”by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny and Ron McMillan.
- Watch YouTube videos of celebrities and leaders that you think are charismatic and likable. Observe how they behave and communicate (verbally, and non-verbally).