Are you Likeable?

by Trudy on October 29, 2010

Based on a significant number of clues converging on me lately, I have been reminded of the priceless-ness of likability in business.

Like the mayoral candidate in Calgary that ran a campaign on likability who took a nose-dive over a contrite comment about doing inappropriate things in cereal. Why? Because with one uncensored comment, the core promise of likability was put asunder. Interestingly, the much less likable candidate would not have seen a blip with the same comment. It was a critical breach of promise.

Like the airline that we have not-so-affectionately dubbed “Airline X, we’re not happy until you’re not happy!”. Funny but these customer-facing employees almost seem trained to be disdainful and uncooperative, if not outright unlikeable. Is it really that awful to be gainfully employed in this economy?

Or the call centre person who is put out to actually have to help or resolve an issue. Vicki and I were chatting and between us we could easily recall THREE different cases of extreme unlikeability that we have experienced very recently! Hint: Don’t answer the phone if you’re incapable of being helpful.

Or the cashier who can’t even muster a grunt when you are “transacting” with them.

Or even the document that I recently read that was so defensive, territorial and unaccountable (“If this is going to happen, YOU need to step up to this”), I had to look back to make sure that I was reading a document that’s purpose was actually to bring people on side!

Or the school administration that treats parents as unwanted intrusions, or demands that have to be “dealt” with.

What has made us so cranky? Or when did it become okay to be like this with each other? I get that we all have bad days and moments when we are not as gracious as we should be, and that styles do not always mesh. But really, when the pattern is so easy to spot with a few minutes of reflection, something is up. And it is a tide that is turning that seems quite destructive to relationships.

Likability is real currency in making this world go around. Ask the failed mayoral candidate. Observe yourself and who you want to be near.  We all need to be conscious of the likability (not to be confused with pandering!) that we as individuals, and therefore we as businesses are putting out there. It is such an easy tweak that goes a long, long way to relationship building.

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