We all like to be liked.
But in the workplace, being liked is more than just a warm fuzzy. Possessing the esteem of your colleagues means they’ll be more willing to cooperate with you, do favors for you and stand up for you when you need it most. The result is a happier life at work every day and, down the road, increased likelihood of a promotion or raise.
You could leave all this to chance. Or you could take a few steps to ensure that your co-workers will always think kindly of you.
1. Look happy to see them. You don’t have to jump up and down like a puppy dog. But when your teammates arrive for the day, do smile and welcome them. Pleasant manners breed positive feelings.
2. Show you’re listening when they speak. There are so many ways to do this. You can nod your head, mirror their body language, make eye contact, ask pertinent questions or just wear an attentive expression. Refraining from interruptions is a good idea too.
3. Allow them to do favors for you. Oddly, when people do favors for others they tend to like them more, perhaps because they unconsciously need to justify why they went to the extra effort. Also, because helping others makes people feel good, allowing your co-workers to occasionally help you is, in a way, doing them a favor.
4. Compliment them. Obviously, only say things that you really mean and that are really true. If your project partner consistently has great ideas for product fixes, mention it. If you see a chance to praise a co-worker’s contribution to a boss, do so. Don’t go overboard with the compliments, however; they will start to lose meaning.
5. Seek out common ground. Most people tend to like folks who remind them of themselves. So look for something you share — whether it’s a passion for science fiction, baseball, Mexican food or just a mutual desire to do a great job.
6. Finally, behave in a way that assumes people like you. This means being a good person to work with, reliably displaying integrity, warmth, fair-mindedness, competence and kindness. Oh, and do be upfront about your flaws — honesty actually inspires people to trust us more, as well as to like us.