5 Tips to Help with Likability Whether You’re a PM or Team Member

Likability is important in life. Chances are you already know it matters. When it comes to Project Management, likability helps communication and teamwork. Those are also two aspects that are important as a team member.

The 5 Helpful Tips to Increase Likeability:

  1. Assume Positive Intent in Every Interaction
  2. Sarcasm has a Time and Place
  3. Not Every Conversation NEEDS to be About You
  4. Discussions aren’t a Competition
  5. Appreciate Compliments

I promise I will get to the tips but first I wanted to touch on Likeability Factor a bit.

If you’ve read the article on PMI about the Likability Factor of a Project Manager you know the great value. If you haven’t while it’s from 2004 it is still relevant and helpful. You should give it a read.

There are 5 factors that were brought up in the article and the study it expands upon. Those factors are: trusted as a leader, respectful, listens well to others, open personality, and knowledgeable. While they are all equally important, I know from experience trust is often built by the other 4 factors.

I want to believe we all have the ability to be likable. Sometimes we just need a little bit of refinement.

Furthermore, I’m sure you’ve noticed those factors are often associated with Soft Skills. That’s what I want to focus on when it comes to the helpful tips as sometimes we struggle with those.

Onto the Helpful Tips!

1. Assume Positive Intent in Every Interaction

How often do you approach an interaction with negative intent? While it is possible you’ve done it a few times I’m betting it is far less often than not.

Even if there are other elements that might affect your vibe focus on positive intent. It will make you more approachable. At worst you’ll likely come off as someone who’s trying.

In either case, you remain approachable and respectful.

2. Sarcasm has a Time and Place

Are you Ryan Reynolds a.k.a. Deadpool? If so then carry on.

Otherwise, the safest answer is outside of work.

It is common that the longer you work with people the more likely you are to get comfortable or make friends.

That is great, however, remember you are at work and if sarcasm misses the mark it can cause damage.

Now if you’re going to ignore all of that at least make sure you’re the “butt” of the sarcasm.

3. Not every conversation NEEDS to be About You

I am sure you are an amazing person and I’m sure you are a valuable person. Also, you deserve recognition.

Likewise, I will also say your team is filled with amazing people, valuable people, and people deserving recognition. Furthermore, it is incredibly rare that we ever truly do anything on our own.

The other person/people in a team/conversation are valuable in their own right.

Hold onto that and at the very least you’ll be able to treat them as equal. We all deserve that.

4. Discussions AREN’T a Competition

I know sometimes, hell even many times a workplace can feel like you need to have a competition. If you are in a situation where that is in fact the case then my advice is to leave.

Consider approaching a discussion as two (or however many) valid points are being presented.

You will be far more likely to find a new understanding or fresh insights into the problem.

5. Appreciate Compliments

Have you ever given a compliment only to be ignored? It doesn’t feel good.

Definitely don’t do this:

This is not appreciating a compliment

Worse than that, brushing off a compliment can give the wrong impression. You’re too good for compliments or feel superior. Neither of those is going to help make you more likable.

Take a few moments to genuinely acknowledge the compliment, then thank them. If you can, find a way to include them in the compliment for a nice bonus.

I hope that you find these tips helpful to increasing your likeability whether you’re a Project Manager or a team member.

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Hi I'm Elizabeth!

My passions are learning and helping others. I combine my passions and expertise in Digital Marketing, Web Development, and Project Management to help people solve problems and create awesome projects. I love to share the knowledge I learn. Learn more about me...

Oh and I love tacos.