I love people and I’ve endeavored to develop my interpersonal skills so that I can communicate with them positively, peacefully, and productively. I’ve used these skills to solve problems, add value to other people’s lives, and to meet personal and professional goals. I want you to experience the same benefits, so thanks in advance for joining me in continuing our discussion from Part 1 on 10 Ways To Be More Likable. (https://www.confrontingissues.com/blog/10_ways_to_be-more_likable/).
Below is a list of practical actions to avoid and some to embrace in order to be more likable (excerpted from my book, The One-Minute Money Mentor for Women. As you review this list, consider which skills you need to hone and which ones you can be grateful that the grace of God has empowered you to prevail in that area of your life.
- Don’t gossip or reveal other people’s secrets. Your hearers or confidantes will most likely think, She’ll gossip about me next! This is one of the fastest ways to lose credibility and gain a reputation for not having integrity. Refrain from passing on the negative comments that others have made about a person. What would be your purpose for disclosing such information in the first place?
- Don’t whine. There is no good outcome for whining and complaining. It will destroy your image as a problem solver or a team player. If you must complain, do so only to those who can solve the problem.
- Be flexible and patient when unexpected situations arise. Learning to go with the flow will increase your emotional and spiritual maturity—and avoid the harmful physical effects of unnecessary adrenalin rushes. Don’t let your emotions hijack your peace and your ability to reason. The situation is “only a test.” This too will pass.
- Resist showing partiality or prejudice. The apostle James pulled no punches in declaring that discrimination or favoritism based on any and all outward factors (race, economic status, age, etc.) was a spiritual no-no: “But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin” (James 2:9 NLT). Even if you do indeed feel more favorably disposed to one person over the other, consider the sense of unfairness this creates in the non-preferred one and the damage it does to your spiritual foundation to live in rebellion against the Maker of all. Ask God for the grace to be fair always.
- Earn the right to give constructive criticism by consistently showing concern for other people’s well-being. Always give correction in private and know that feedback is best received when it is requested. However, if you see someone going in the wrong direction, you have a scriptural obligation to address it: “If another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself” (Galatians 6:1 NLT).
- Laugh at your shortcomings. Don’t obsess with presenting an image of perfection. Others view perfect people as untouchable; imperfect people are relatable. Look for the humor in situations. Don’t be the skunk at the picnic; be fun to interact with. People will notice and want to be around you. I can’t begin to count the number of expensive social functions I have been invited to attend scot-free simply because the people said they wanted to sit at a fun table.
- Maintain a positive attitude. Believe, according to Romans 8:28, that all things are working together for your good when you love God and are called according to His purpose. All things…nothing excluded.
- Admit your mistakes. Trying to place blame on others will get you the label of “First Class Jerk.” Be confident and humble enough to say, “I was wrong.” It will increase rather than decrease your personal stock in the eyes of others.
- Establish, communicate, and honor clear boundaries. No one is going to reject you for managing your life and career. You are more likely to develop hostility and resentment toward others when you are upset with yourself for saying yes when you should have said no.
- Treat everyone with respect. Subordinates. Children. Restaurant servers. Maintenance workers. Assistants. Housekeepers. Everyone. There is never a justification for yelling, put-downs, threats, or other unkind behavior.
Just Do It!
The preceding behaviors can have a big effect on your finances. The challenge here is not to change who you are. Don’t feel pressured to become Chatty Cathy if you are more the Quiet Queenie type who prefers not to interact extensively with people. This is simply a call to come to grips with the fact that whatever you desire in life will be achieved through people. Consequently, you must be mindful of behaviors and character traits that attract people and those that repel them.
Even the most technically oriented or introverted person can begin to incorporate good people skills in any setting. Strongly developed people skills are not limited to the workplace but extend to every environment where you encounter people. When worked on faithfully and prayerfully, they will enrich all aspects of your professional and personal life.