Certain people just have a presence, and by merely entering a room, they can change the mood and get everyone smiling. These types of individuals have certain advantages in the professional world, and in an insightful story titled “5 Easy Ways to Be More Likable (That You Can Try Today!),” Daily Muse writer Aja Frost shares some tips on how to become a more magnetic personality.
Frost begins by suggesting you “look out for the little things.” This means encouraging your colleagues with compliments here and there — quick notes to say congrats on a job well done. Throughout the piece, Frost uses the example of a coworker named Alex, an affable young woman who once emailed her to say how much she liked one of Aja’s suggestions in a meeting.
“She didn’t have an obligation to send it, making it that much more meaningful,” Frost writes. “And her observation was spot-on; I’d spent a long time thinking about the exact things she’d mentioned.”
Frost’s next tip is asking people about their passions. Thanks to things like social media, it’s fairly easy to get a sense of what people do outside of work, so if you know a coworker is into, say, jazz or long-distance running — the two examples Frost uses — mention these things in casual conversation. It’ll show that you’re invested in people’s lives on a personal level, and that you’re not all about business.
On a related note, Frost recommends you “say ‘hi’ enthusiastically.” It perks people up when you greet them with a smile and heartfelt hello and not just a sleepy grumble. Frost herself started doing this, taking a page out of Alex’s playbook, and she says “it’s wonderful to see their faces light up and to get a real greeting in return.”
Going a step further, you can get on folks’ good sides by doing what Frost calls “five-minute favors.” As the name implies, these are little things like helping the Excel novice in your row with his or her spreadsheet. While you can wait for people to ask for your assistance on such things, it also pays to be mindful of what everyone is up to and volunteer help out of the blue.
Lastly, Frost extolls the virtues of three magic words: “That sounds hard.” When talking to colleagues about their jobs, tell them their work strikes you as challenging. It may seem disingenuous, but as Frost writes, everyone’s role can be daunting, and if you use that go-to phrase, it’ll get people talking about their job honestly. And since “you won’t have any of those frustrating ego clashes that often dominate discussions,” Frost writes, the end result is better conversations for everyone.