You can’t be a good leader by pleasing everybody. In fact, most good leaders say that pleasing everybody will not take you very far. So how can you be a good leader when the decisions you make don’t go down well with everyone? The secret to likeability is simple: be genuinely invested in helping people around you succeed and give them the opportunities to realize their full potential. Once the people who follow you know that you have their best interests at heart, they will respect you, regardless of the decisions you make. Having said that, here are a few other habits of likable leaders.
1. They form personal connections.
Whether they’re talking at a conference or in a meeting room, likeable leaders never forget that human connections form the basis of leadership. When you listen to leaders who know this, they make you feel like they’re talking directly to you, even if they’re addressing a large audience. They ensure that their dialogue with you relates to you on a personal and emotional level.
2. They’re approachable.
Likeable leaders will always make time for you when you want to approach them. They believe that everyone, regardless of rank or ability, is worth their time and attention. They understand that each employee has something valuable worth sharing that can add value to the organization.
3. They’re humble.
They don’t let their position and stature get to their heads. They’ll never dismiss others because they think they are superior as they know that each individual is unique. For them, being in a position of leadership means being there to help the people who follow them, and being more accountable for their actions.
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4. They’re positive.
The most likeable leaders you meet are the ones who are always sporting positive attitudes. They’ve learned to look at things in a way that makes them see opportunities even in difficult situations. During undeniably negative situations, likeable leaders hold the confidence to help make tomorrow better than today.
5. They remain unaffected.
While most people are extremely happy when they succeed and almost succumb to depression when faced with failure, likeable leaders always take things in their stride. They don’t give too much importance to success; neither do they mope around when things are bad. They acknowledge both success and failure and find ways to move on to newer and better goals.
6. They’re generous.
Likeable leaders are unfailingly generous to the people they know with the knowledge they have, and the resources they have access to. Their aim is to help people around them succeed and they’ll try their best to share whatever they have if it can benefit someone. They’re confident enough to not worry if someone else’s success might make them look bad.
7. They demonstrate integrity.
Likeable leaders inspire trust and admiration through their actions, not just their words. Many leaders say that integrity is important to them, but likeable leaders walk the talk by demonstrating integrity every day. Even a leader who is extremely charming won’t be likeable if that charm isn’t backed by a solid foundation of integrity.
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8. They know how to read people.
Apart from being good listeners, likeable leaders also know how to read people as unspoken communication is often more important than the words people say. They pay attention to facial expressions, body language and tone of voice to try and understand what people are really saying.
9. They appreciate potential.
Likeable leaders are likeable not because they charm you into liking them, but because they make you feel good about yourself. They not only see and appreciate the best in you, they also make sure others see it too. They take joy in helping you hone your talent so that you keep getting better.
10. They have substance.
First impressions are very important, but charisma can only take you so far. Likeable leaders understand that their knowledge and expertise is critical to the success of everyone who follows them. Therefore, they regularly connect with people to share their substance.