Are You A Likeable Leader?

You don’t have to be likable to be a good leader, but it sure helps.

In “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie says it makes it easier to influence others. And Gallup found that nearly half of adults surveyed left a job to get away from a boss they didn’t like.

Do your workers consider you to be likable? How would they describe you?

You will be considered more likable if you exhibit these behaviors.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Be Personable

Remember that each colleague is a human being with feelings and emotions of their own. Show a genuine interest in your employees, their families, and everything that they share.  So empathy when something goes wrong.

Exhibit Positive Body Language

Someone who has their arms crossed in front of them does not exhibit an open and accessible attitude. Maintain good posture when seated and stand tall when upright. Make appropriate gestures.


Put away your cell phones and actively listen to the people you are with. Even when you are in a group, the person you are talking with should feel like they are the only person in the room.  Were you ever talking to someone at a party and notice that their eyes are darting around the room to see if there is someone else they want to speak with?  It didn’t make you feel great.

Show Confidence

Executives who exhibit self-confidence are generally seen as more likable than those who don’t.  Make decisions. If you are afraid to speak in public, take a course and practice. As the saying goes, “Don’t let them see you sweat.” Smile more too.

Be Open-Minded

Resist the temptation to judge everyone and everything. No one likes a know it all.  As Bill Gates said, “It makes no sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people so that they can tell us what to do.

Don’t Steal Attention

Don’t be the kind of leader who likes to take credit for every success. Likable leaders are never arrogant. They don’t like that they are better than you because they don’t believe they are either.

Monitor Your Mood

if you are consistently positive, your employees will see you as someone they want to be around. If your mood varies, day-to-day staff may hide until they know whether Jeckle or Hyde showed up to work.

Don’t believe for a minute that people are born likable. While some people may find it easier to be outgoing, positive, and good listeners, anyone can learn these behaviors. But like everything else, these behaviors need to be practiced.

Being likable is a trait that can be learned, and it demonstrates emotional intelligence, which is essential to work in a variety of dynamic organizations.

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