What is your likability score?
Do you know how likable you are to other people? What if you could score your likability and discover specific areas to improve? Well today you’re in luck!
Recently I heard a very entertaining and challenging talk by Jason Young on the topic of Likability. It was a game-changer for me as I thought through how others’ view me as a business owner, small group leader, friend, and brother.
Why is likability important?
We’re always going to have personal interactions in our lives. As business leaders, family members, and friends, it’s important that we’re aware of how other people perceive us. Being likable is a skill that carries into all aspects of our lives and generally makes us better people.
Likability vs. Personality
Before jumping into this topic I think it’s important to note that likability is not the same as personality! Our personality is a reflection of who we are and generally doesn’t change that much throughout our lifetime. Our likability, on the other hand, is a product of our actions and reactions to our surroundings. We can affect our likability no matter what our personality type. Small changes in our behavior can greatly increase our likability.
What makes someone likable?
When I think of likable people I’m reminded of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in the movie The Great Gatsby. This quote from the book describing Gatsby paints a wonderful picture of likability.
“He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.”
There are several factors that affect our likability. Most of the content below is straight from my notes, so all credit and complaints can go directly to Jason Young. Here are several characteristics of highly likable people:
- Highly likable people ask questions. They show they care by listening to others and genuinely being interested in their lives.
- Highly likable people put away their phones. They value others by intentionally putting away distractions and focusing on the person they’re with.
- Highly likable people are genuine. They put others at ease by being themselves.
- Highly likable people don’t pass judgement. They show they’re approachable by being ok with people’s flaws and make it safe for people to not be perfect.
- Highly likable people don’t seek attention. They show humility by allowing other people to look good and take the credit instead of propping themselves up as the hero.
- Highly likable people are consistent and reliable. They show that they can be trusted and make others feel important by valuing their time.
- Highly likable people show positive body language. They understand that non-verbal communication speaks volumes to others and they are conscious about what their body language is saying.
- Highly likable people leave a strong first impression. They understand the importance of first impressions and are intentional in these circumstances. (People generally decide in 7 seconds if they like you or not and then spend the rest of the conversation validating their decision.)
- Highly likable people greet people by name. They make others feel important to them by remembering their name. They go to extremes to remember names and are intentional about this.
- Highly likable people smile. They show that they are warm and approachable through a genuine smile that invites other people into a conversation.
- Highly likable people know when to open up. They are good with timing and know when to share something deep and when to keep the conversation light.
- Highly likable people know who to touch. They show they care for others by appropriate touches that convey sympathy and encouragement when needed.
- Highly likable people balance passion and fun. They understand the importance of both and show others they can be both serious and friendly.
What is your likability score?
Interested in measuring your likability? Try the free and quick assessment to get your score, then check out some ways below that you can improve your likability.
Instructions: After signing into your Google click on the prompt to “Make a copy” of this assessment so you can review and re-take this as often as you like.
Improving your likability
After taking the assessment I realized a few gaps in my likability that I wanted to improve. Below are some really simple tips on ways to improve your likability:
- Be conversationally generous. Let others talk more.
- Use key phrases (phrase of empathy). Examples: “That sounds hard, Tell me more…, How does that make you feel?, You know what? That sounds normal.” (Dissolve someone’s fear of abnormality.)
- Watch your resting face. Make sure that you’re approachable to others.
- Watch your overall body language. Example: Where your feet are pointing is an indicator of where you are moving. Turning away from someone says you want to end the conversation.
- Defer credit to the team. This is one mark of a great leader.
- Get people to talk positively about you behind your back. Think of what people will say about you after they leave a conversation.
- Send thinking about you or just touching base texts or emails. Let people know they matter to you even if they’re not physically with you.
- Ask “What have I done today to make someone feel special?”
- Be hyper responsive. Quickness in your response to a text or email shows you care about others.
- Be interested in individuals. People want to wow you not be wowed by you.
- Find ways to help people. Look for a quick win of doing something small for someone that makes their day.
- Remember names. Don’t fall for the “I’m bad at remembering names” trap. Do whatever you have to do to get good at this.
- Laugh! Everyone loves to laugh with others.
- Maximize small talk to gain critical info. Ask questions to really get to know people not just pass the time.
- Surprise and delight people. Be unhurried in your conversation – it will refresh their day and make you memorable.
- Remember the power of emotional contagion. Others will mimic the energy and enthusiasm we bring to a conversation. (Automatic Mimicry)
- Greet others more enthusiastically. Make people feel important when they meet you.
- Live a grateful life!