February 27, 2018

Where Likability Shows-Up

Likability is really key to any meaningful relationship. But how does it show-up in your Engaged Pursuit?

Earlier in February, I highlighted the importance of likability in the professional setting. I gave key learnings from folks important to me around this topic. Bottom line: Likeability is key to professional engagement — regardless of your role, title or organization.

But for those of you looking for something better, how does likability show-up? Does likability play an important role in your Engaged Pursuit? Is it something that goes beyond a good handshake and a smile? My answer – absolutely!

Remember, people hire for personality and connection just as much as experience and smarts. In fact, personality and connection are almost more important than experience and smarts (in my experience). So how likability comes into play during all phases of your Engaged Pursuit (and after) is really important.

Here’s how I think likability shows-up during your Engaged Pursuit:

  • Making connection(s) with your network. Client’s think they have to be super formal in any/all communication with folks across their network. I think it’s the opposite – showing-up more casually, clear and concise is how I like to coach professionals when writing/texting their connections. Think about it … you want their help, and you do that by coming across more human, not super formal.
  • Highlighting your results in your resume. I like to hit readers with powerful phrases when describing results. Words like “Led massive transformation” or “Managed transformation in business process” are a great way to show drive, determination, focus and intent. It also demonstrates creativity in how you describe your impact (as long as you have the numbers to prove it).
  • Creating a memorable interview experience. Whether it’s an informational interview, a phone screen or an in-person experience, your likability really comes-out when talking to individuals. Of course, you want to think about non-verbal elements (eye contact, posture, facial gestures, handshake, etc), but likability also can show-up by calling them by their name, asking meaningful questions, listening (and referencing previous comments) and knowing about their business. That “s/he’s done their homework” is what you want people to think!
  • Saying “Thank You.” It still boggles my mind that people don’t write a simple thank you email after any/all interview experiences. When I was a Hiring Manager, I received a thank you about 15% of the time – insane! A quick/easy note (see first bullet) goes a long way. In my opinion, it demonstrates not only appreciation, but also likability as a potential co-worker.
  • Setting your foundation during the first 90 days. Once in role, I think it’s absolutely critical to set a foundation of strategic thinking, strong connections, early results, and of course likability. You want to be known as someone who will not only get the job done, but also be a good/thoughtful/approachable partner. Don’t just drive, drive, drive – think about the softer side during these first few months on the job (believe me, it will go a long way).

Your homework this week: Take a look at how you’re approaching your Engaged Pursuit. Is likability part of your roadmap? Is it engrained in everything that you’re writing and every interaction you’re having? Have intent around likability – it could be the most important part of your Engaged Pursuit

Coming-up later this week:  I’ll be highlighting both a Case Study AND my favorite Book, Article, TEDTalk, and PodCast (BATP) around the importance of likability – so be on the lookout!

Here’s to your Engaged Pursuit!

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