WOW Word-Of-the-Week #80: Likeability

May 13, 2009 by · Comments Off on WOW Word-Of-the-Week #80: Likeability 

Likeability – the ability to produce a positive emotional experience in someone else.

How would you rate your likeability factor? How would your co-workers rate you?

USA today featured an article on the book, “The Likeability Factor,” by Tim Sanders. He says, “Organizations have traditionally focused on competencies and thinking ability of their staff. There is growing recognition, however, that job effectiveness can be undone if an employee is not likeable.”

How important is it to be likeable and have likeable employees?

  • Likeable employees are favored by co-workers. “People don’t want to work with someone who is disliked, no matter how skilled they are.” – Harvard Business Review Study
  • Likeable employees can influence customers. “60% of customers say that, when faced with rudeness, they take their business elsewhere, even if it means going out of their way or paying a higher price.” – Eticon Survey
  • Likeability can help career advancement. Likeable employees are more likely to get bigger pay raises and promotions.

This week focus on rating your likeability, and if applicable, your employees. “Be careful not to try too hard, it may come across as unfocused or desperate. Also, you can provide training to compensate for missing skills, but it’s almost impossible to compensate for personality.” – Torry Johnson, CEO Women for Hire

Reader Responses

“I agree with the statement about “trying too hard.” I think that it is easy for people in an office to see through. Obviously, not everyone in the office will like us, but if we can be cooperative and helpful to others when we are approached that certainly inceases our chances at likeability.  If a co-worker asks for my assistance, I certainly try to help that person as soon as I am able. If I can’t do something, I try to let them know when I can do it or direct them to someone who can. In the position I have at our office here, it is my job to help make others in the office look good. I get brochures, posters, signs, correspondence and ad circulars to look at every day. What I try to do is make sure whatever it is they give me that it is edited properly, with correct spelling, grammar, wording, etc. I am polite to everyone in the office, even to those who have not been particularly hospitable to me in the six years I have been here.  A smile and good attitude goes a long way in a place where we have to spend eight hours with the same people, every day. It is not easy, but it makes the day go by easier. My attitude and likeability and willingness to do things that maybe others have not been willing to do has led to some nice pay raises over the past five years – especially the last two years. So, I am a happy camper at work. I actually look forward to coming into the office every day. How many people can say that? Thanks for the word, Susan. Keep up the great work. “Warrior”–Joe Moran

“Life is too short not to have fun – EVERY DAY! As a writer I know once told me: “Have dessert.” I know that everyone is not going to like me. I don’t have time to dwell on why that is, so I move on. There are too many people to meet and learn from in my life. Hey, the sun is shining, the clouds are gone, the skies are blue and WE’RE HERE! I can’t wait for your next word. Keep up the great work, Susan. All the best! “Warrior”–Joe Moran