Likability is one of the most important traits of any leader. But it doesn’t mean being a pushover. Often, the leaders who are the most likable produce the best results, and are driven and passionate. People respect the high standard that they set for themselves and their organizations. To be likeable, leaders need to be the kind of person that they would like themselves. Ken Goswell is the CEO of the CXP – CEO Experience. His mission is to provide resources to leaders who desire to learn fast to lead further. Here is is take on how leaders can be likeable from Forbes.com
Likability starts with a decision to become likable. Some leaders are likable and others are not — because they choose to be. Often, leaders who are the most fulfilled genuinely desire to be liked by others.
Here are five ways to be a more likable leader.
1. Know your concrete guideposts.
For others to like you, they must know you. For them to know you, you must know yourself. Every likable CEO has foundational principles for who they are and the person they desire to become. These are concrete guideposts that shape their thinking and their decisions. When you communicate these guideposts, others are attracted to your leadership and your core values.
2. Be curious about other people.
In How to Win Friends and Influence People, the notable Dale Carnegie stated the importance of being “genuinely interested in other people.” Every CEO should make it a priority to be curious about their team and the people they meet. Any one person has the ability to teach you something. When you are curious about others and seek to learn what they can show you, it often leads them to like you.
3. Grow yourself and your outlook.
People are attracted to people who focus on their own growth and development. Growing CEOs have a different outlook on life and experiences because they continue to stay fresh and up to date on the newest thinking that is changing the marketplace. People like to learn from these leaders.
4. Be diligent about acts of thoughtfulness.
Many times, likability is a direct result of thoughtfulness. Though you don’t read about thoughtfulness in many business books, it’s a key element to good business and to developing a likable personality. Thoughtful acts of kindness such as writing notes, acknowledging great work, or offering words of affirmation can go a long way in developing a friendly spirit.
5. See the best in others.
People like to be around people who see their potential. There is an old saying: “When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.”
One complaint that many leaders and CEOs receive from their key staff is that they only focus on the negative or on what needs to be improved. Although it is essential to focus on improvement, it is equally as important to find and elicit the best in others.
Can you name the best ability of every person on your team?
Here is an essential truth that leaders would be wise to embrace: You will never become the best leader you can be until you become a likable one.