You can be liked more at work. And while that may sound a little trite, it can be useful.
Because if you are liked more, you can get more done. You can become more influential. And you can become more effective.
The thing is, focusing on being liked isn’t really the right way to look at it. It’s important to be liked for the right reasons.
You can be affable or funny or attractive and be liked. That doesn’t necessary mean you will be more influential or respected.
But there are some things you can do that are simple, effective, and authentic. That’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about in this post.
Ways to be liked that will make you more confident and satisfied in your work. Because it’s important that you like yourself too.
Here are 8 simple things you can do starting today that will bring immediate results.
Greet people in some friendly way, every day. Maybe you simply make eye contact and smile. Or give a little nod. You could raise your hand and wave. Maybe even slap a high five. Do something that shows you see and acknowledge others in your work environment.
And here’s the thing. It doesn’t matter if you like them or not. It doesn’t matter if they work for some other division, if they are a political rival, or if they disagree with you on something important. Greeting is a simple and tremendously important human to human connection. Work doesn’t matter more than people. This is an easy way to remind yourself of that. And others too.
Be prepared. Show others that you are a professional. That you can to conduct yourself seriously at work. Read the report. Show up to the meeting on time. Jot down a few questions in advance of a discussion. Do your research.
People respect people who have their act together. And there’s no easier way to demonstrate this than by mastering the basics. People notice little things like that, because even though they are small, they are important. What’s more, you’ll be inspiring others to raise their game as well.
Don’t dominate conversations. You should speak up, raise questions, and help guide conversations. But don’t go so far as to be overbearing. Being effective in this way is a by-product of being prepared. If you’ve considered the information and thought things through a bit, you can help the group by contributing more strategically. Plus it’s rude to steam roll group discussions.
Connect with colleagues outside of your organization. Embrace your field from a broader perspective. Make a point to go out and meet others through conferences, online forums, or other industry channels. Then, bring the reference points into your work. Help to inform others by sharing what you’ve learned from outside of your organization.
People will appreciate the insights you can share from others, and they will recognize you as a committed professional in the space.
Take care of yourself. Working through lunch and missing your kids play are the hallmarks of a bygone era. Those old badges of honor don’t hold up anymore. People have much more respect for someone who can balance their life more effectively. Because that’s what they are all trying to do to.
This is another way of thinking and acting in a people-first mindset. We are all people first and professionals second. Professionals know this and act accordingly. Professionalism is no longer one-dimensional.
Get advice. The other thing professionals do is use coaches. You laugh at a professional athlete that didn’t use a coach–or multiple coaches–to improve their performance. Why shouldn’t you do the same?
Your coach could be a professional coach for hire. And you might use different coaches for different areas that you want to improve. But you could also actively seek mentors and advisors who are not professional coaches. You can also ask colleagues for feedback and advice. The important thing is to actively seek to improve through help from others.
Do incremental improvement. Not everything has to be a herculean effort. In fact, some of the most important things you do will be accomplished through a slow and steady effort over time. This approach may test your attention, energy, and commitment. But that’s sort of the point. This approach helps you to develop those skills.
This one isn’t flashy, but ultimately people will come to know your accomplishments in this area. And you will too. Which will help you to keep going down this path and to keep making long-term plays that pay larger and larger dividends over time.
Collaborate with people across a wide range of experience. The old fogies don’t know it all and the new kids don’t have much experience. But both camps have valuable insights you can use. We can too easily fall into the trap that experience is all that matters. Or innovation. But often the lessons are far more nuanced.
By widening your network to include people with a wide range of experience, you will gather more and better insights. Your network will increase in a powerful way. And you will be able to help a lot more people directly as you help to bridge that divide in various ways.
You are on your way
The best way to make people like you at work is to become a better professional, particularly in the areas where it’s important to connect with others.
By adopting a people-first approach, you can build stronger relationships in a variety of ways. Simple things like daily greetings can go a long way.
Show up happy and optimistic. Be prepared, but don’t dominate every conversation. Network outside of your organization and share those insights. Take good care of yourself and show that you can lead a balanced life.
Reach out to others for help. You need coaches and mentors to help you get to the next level. Commit yourself to incremental improvement. Include a wide range of age and experience in your network to keep yourself sharp and well-informed.
All of these things are small and simple, but important. They all help you to become a better professional, which will help you to become more respected and influential. Because everybody likes to work with a competent professional.