How to cultivate likability

43181036 - business people shaking hands, finishing up a meetingWho doesn’t want to be liked? It’s a universal desire, and yet many of us assume that likability is something we’re born with: Some of us have it and some of us don’t.

But what if that collective wisdom is wrong? Understanding the social skills that go into likability can have a substantial impact on your career. They can be learned!

Here are a few of our favorite ways of cultivating likability:

Be genuine. Likable people are curious about other people, and will take the time to engage in small talk or even more probing conversations.

Be positive. Life may not be a bed of roses, but likable people don’t drone on and on about their troubles. They do show humility, though, and will share stories of failure, sadness and disappointment. They show they’re human without making it all about them.

Remember and use names. It feels good, doesn’t it, when someone you have just met remembers your name? Next time you’re in a business meeting with new people, consciously use their names.

Listen first, then speak. As this article says, sometimes we miss making a connection because we’re too eager to get our two bits into the conversation.

Don’t be fickle. Likable people aren’t moody, friendly one day and aloof the next. Aim to be the steady presence others can depend upon.