People want to work with people they like and people they trust. Despite the trivial connotation the word “like” may carry, being liked in your workplace matters. Being liked will make your job easier. Any job you’re doing (well) requires voluntary participation from others. I feel infinitely blessed to have worked with some of the most riveting executives. From finance to sports to entertainment, here’s 4 practices I extracted from the behavior of the most well liked leaders I’ve ever encountered.
1.They are intentional and committed to helping others find & engage their own magic
Well liked leaders are constantly asking questions. Good questions. Questions that make those around them think deeper about their current move and strategize for their next move. They explicitly identify strengths in their teammates and carefully create ways for them to put those strengths on display. Well liked leaders are intentional about creating time to develop and nurture.
2. They never talk about the shortcomings of one team member to another team member
This practice is one of the most toxic behaviors leaders engage in, often times without even realizing it. Be intentional about providing feedback in a confidential space to the appropriate individual. In small teams especially, it can be easy to vent but I encourage you to take the time to truly think about how that can affect an entire organization. Let’s use an example:
Sally has been reporting to Jamie for one year. Jamie believes Sally’s last project was poorly written-not to mention it was turned in late. Jamie decides to vent to Sally’s peer Jessica over coffee. As a result of this one action 4 things have now occurred.
Jessica is going to naturally look for that behavior again from Sally
Sally is still not going to alter this behavior because she doesn’t know it’s an issue
Jamie has played a part in creating a company culture that is passive aggressive and divisive
In the event that Jessica begins to manage people, perhaps she too, will find it acceptable to exhibit this behavior
Main Problem Unaddressed: THE PROJECT WAS STILL AWFUL AND LATE!
3. They are voracious about communication
It FEELS GOOD to others when they know what’s going on! Whether you’re going to be 3 hours late on a deliverable or you’re communicating what table you’re waiting at for lunch, leaders who communicate well, often and consistently make others feel safe and secure. This equals being liked! No example is too small here, be a thorough and prompt communicator and watch how people flock to you.
4. They are the same person at work and at play
Authenticity never fails. While it’s important to set clear boundaries with coworkers, get comfortable being you-despite the location. Whether you’re in the office, running a 5K or at happy hour they should encounter the same person. Your integrity, values and personality should shine through. Knowing how to adapt to different situations while remaining authentic and polished is vital to reaching your next level!
Chelsea C. Hayes, SPHR, is the CEO & Principal Consultant of The Coaching Factory, LLC based in Los Angeles. The Coaching Factory trains Millennials to win at work & coaches Executives to connect with the winners. She holds a Master’s degree in Communication from Northwestern University and two Bachelor’s degrees from Purdue University.