How to make yourself more likeable

Not so long ago I was asked to help a client develop his social skills, as he had become isolated and lonely and was under confident in his dealings with people. He lived alone and basically had no friends.
I turned for inspiration to the work of Dale Carnegie, and pulled down from our book shelves my very ancient copy of “How to Win friends and Influence People.” At the heart of this rather dated text is a section entitled “6 ways to make people like you”. It made me smile. As a coach I perfectly well appreciate that we can’t make people do anything least of all like us. We can however change ourselves, and indeed by changing ourselves we alter the effect we have on others and the responses that we receive back from other people.
So here is my interpretation of Dale Carngie’s work - 6 ways to make yourself more likeable:

1. Take a genuine interest in other people – that means taking the time and effort to get to know them and find ways to be helpful to them. To be interesting, be interested.

2. Smile  :-) - A smile says “I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you”. Even an unseen smile is powerful in its effect, as a smile on the phone comes through in your voice.

3. Use the name of the person you are talking to – forget or misspell someone’s name and you risk offence. A person’s name is to that person a very important sound, setting them apart and making him or her unique amongst other people. So when you are addressing someone use their name.

4. Be a good listener – this is the easy way to become a good conversationalist, by simply encouraging people to talk about themselves. Ask questions that the other person will enjoy answering and then listen attentively as they speak. People usually enjoy talking about themselves and will appreciate being given a good listening to.

5. Talk about things that interest the other person – if you see that someone is interested in a particular subject you can make the conversation more enjoyable for that person by talking about that subject with them. This can be an enriching experience and is an excellent way to build rapport.

6. Treat the other person as if they are important to you – let somebody know that you value something about them, and you will make them feel important. Express sincerely your appreciation for the unique talents and attributes of the people in your life, and you will delight them. So if you want to be more likeable, practice these techniques. In a very short time you will experience the development of new cooperative relationships and deepening friendships.


© Barbara Capstick

November 2011.