Are You Being Likable?

It is a generally accepted rule of thumb that we do business with people that we like.  It isn’t so much a matter of pricing as it is if we like someone in making a decision who we decide to hire in different aspects.  A financial advisor, a mechanic, a bank, a grocery store – the people make all the difference.


I have a choice between two Walmarts – one is a little closer than the other but I chose the one farthest away because of my favorite greeter.  I don’t care what shift he is working he is always happy, smiling, singing “We love Walmart” and greeting every single person with his own unique way.  I can’t help but smile when I walk in and he says, “I know you, how are you Miss, it has been awhile.”


It is the people that make a difference.


When someone is hiring they look beyond the skills you bring to the table; they also want to see if you will be liked.  Liked by the coworkers, fit in the culture and liked by the clients.


So this begs the question: are you being likable?


Pulling off likable can be done during an interview – but what about during networking and day to day business or activities?


I had a couple of days to really observe people and found it kind of sad how unlikable people are when they are not getting their way.


I had a full day in the airport with delayed flights in coming back fromCaliforniathe other day.  Long story short, I was at the airport for eight hours before I was able to board a plane and start my travels home.


The plane I was on was a connector flight and I was very pleased that I did not have to change planes to get back home.  However, when we reachedPhoenixand all but us connectors were left one of the attendants announced that we were, indeed, going to have to change planes.


I thought the woman’s head in front of me was going to explode.  She berated this poor attendant for us not being informed and how were we expected to make it.


The new plane was across the way, literally, we went from C6 to C2 – a 30 foot walk.  We were fine.


But this woman was just so very unpleasant to the attendant and made such a fuss while gathering her belongings that I was embarrassed for her.  So when I walked by I thanked the attendant and when she apologized I told her, “No worries, it isn’t like this is your call”; the angry woman lessened the force in which she was packing her bag.


Yesterday I was at the grocery and we had to wait a few minutes for them to call up the cashier.  The woman in front of me was very abrupt and rude to this poor young girl.


The cashier tried asking her if she found everything ok and was treated to the response of, “I only came in for one thing so it wasn’t hard.”  She attempted to be pleasant to this woman to no avail.


When the cashier asked if she had done something to upset her the angry woman replied, “Well, I was waiting up here and no one was here to help me.”  The young clerk apologized that she was in the freezer and came up as soon as she was called.  Of course this did nothing to dissuade the older woman who simply snatched her change and said as a parting gift, “I shouldn’t have to wait.”


When it was my turn the young woman started to apologize for my wait and I stopped her by telling her I wasn’t going to be mad at her for doing her job and a few minutes wasn’t going to kill me.


I may never see these two angry women again, then again, I just might.  With the whole six degrees of separation and small world theories you just never know.  If I ever came across them as a potential candidate I will certainly remember how they treated others.


Life is full of glitches and bumps and bruises – but it is not directed at just you individually.


There are times that things do not go my way and I must deal with a poor clerk who is the bearer of bad news.  I try, a lesson learned from my best friend, to always tell them I am not upset with them individually but with the situation.  No need to take it out on them.


Normally when I see unlikable people I will engage in a bit of a conversation and ask what they do for a living.  I want to avoid wherever it is they work.  If they are this unkind to people that are just doing their jobs just imagine how they will treat someone they have to actually help.


Same goes for likable people.  I want to know what they do so if it is something I may need I want to go there.  I like being around likable people whether it is in networking or just doing my grocery shopping.


When I arrived home it was about3:30in the morning I called Ace to come get me and take me to my car.  I was the only passenger on the ride back so the driver asked if I wanted to sit up front.  This gentleman mentioned he had already worked his shift and was covering for someone that called in; he was very pleasant about it and we had a nice conversation.


I was exhausted at this point; however, I realized he, too, was probably exhausted as well and had to stay late and not able to go home to his family so a few minutes of pleasant conversation wasn’t going to kill me.


When I got to my car it was dead.  Dead, dead, dead.  He promptly pulled the van around and hooked up jumper cables.  This wasn’t part of his job and by this point someone else had come in to relieve him so he could have easily gone home.  I thanked him for staying and he told me it wasn’t a problem, he would stay until he made sure I got on my way.


Had I boarded that van on the way to my car being unlikable and complaining about how tired I was or how long a day I had I wonder if he would have been so kind.


I was able to get home safe and sound and although it was about 4 or 5 hours after I originally thought I would, I was home.


For anyone traveling for some time I will definitely recommend Ace – not only is their service and pricing spectacular their people are amazing.  And very likable.  If I knew of anyone looking for a good customer service person I would suggest that they poach my driver from Ace.


Sometimes being likable is a choice; but the residual effects are well worth it.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.

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