How To Be A More Likeable Business Owner
As a business owner your life is full of challenges. Most of these challenges are people related. Your vendors, employees, and clients have an impact on your business and how successful your business can be. The relationships that you have with these three parties will definitely effect the level of success that you can attain. Even the most charismatic person in “real” life can seem a bit less likeable when they put their boss hat on and try to juggle all the tasks of the day. Sometimes, we are so busy getting everything done that we forget how important it is to be liked.
Let’s face it! If your employees, vendors or clients do not like you - they have the power to limit your success - some more than others. Whether you are starting out in a new business or are a seasoned business owner and are taking the time to improve your likeability - we have some tips to help you become more likeable and inspire those around you to as well.
5 Tips to Be a More Likeable Business Owner
1 - Ask people about themselves
I have a friend who is just the most likeable person I know. People are drawn to her and she is one of those people that make everyone smile and feel good about themselves. When I first met her she would play this 21questions type game with people she was just meeting. She would ask people question after question until she felt like she could grasp who they were. She once told me that when you ask people about their favorite topic (themselves), that it puts them at ease and gives them the sense that you care about them as a person, which makes them feel good about themselves. I know that she is a curious person that is genuinely interested in people but the way this method of meeting people has set people at ease right away with her has always intrigued me.
The truth is that people do love talking about themselves and the more you do it the more valued they feel. So, write down a couple general questions that you can start with when interacting with people and you can use these answers to find more questions. Don’t forget that the data you are acquiring does not simply make the other person feel good and make you more likeable but it can also help you obtain a greater understanding of the people around you.
2 - Pay Attention to People
While this may seem to go along with number 1 - it is a huge component of one’s likeability and deserving of huge mention, especially in our culture. A huge part of someone’s inclination to like someone else is if they feel liked by that person. And a quick way to make someone feel un-liked is to not pay attention to them when in their presence. This is an easy mistake to make as a business owner. When you are wearing ten hats and have the weight of the business on your shoulders, it becomes second nature to do ten things at once… all the time.
However, when you are interacting with a vendor, client, or employee - the best thing you can do is put down your phone, look in their eyes, and pay attention to what they are saying, be interested, and focus. Put other thoughts out of your mind and make that person feel like the most important person in your world in that moment. Practicing this and putting it into action will surely make you much more likeable.
3 - Be Happy
If you do any research about being happy you will find some surprising things about how to become happy. A good way to be happy is to… be happy. No. Seriously. If you force yourself to smile, and fake it til you make it - you will find yourself smiling more naturally. I have learned that being happy and positive has nothing to do with circumstance and everything to do with a state of mind. I have met orphans, people struggling with life or death, those living on the street, and those fighting to get through every day - with bright smiles and the most optimistic spirit you have seen.
As business owners we get so focused and diligent that we can take on this stressed demeanor that makes those around us anxious and unliked… How a blessed people and culture can look so angry when those with real worries focus on the good is a mystery to me… #1stWorldProblems. It is hard to like someone who doesn’t crack a smile, always appears stressed, and doesn’t seem to enjoy life. It is hard for us business owners to not look that way a good portion of the time. However - lets smack some smiles on our faces, be more positive, tell jokes, and as a result make people more comfortable around us - and become more likeable!
4 - Help People
I once worked for a business owner that made it his personal mission to help everyone with everything. If he heard someone had car troubles, he would grab his tools and pop their hood. If he heard someone was struggling with money, he would stick some cash in their bag. If he knew someone was worried, he would pray with them. If someone was hungry he would go get them food. While this was a little extreme and unexpected, the way he helped us made us work harder for him. We all felt indebted to him for his generous spirit and it was our pleasure to help him make more money.
While no one expects you to crawl under their car and change their oil, look for ways to help your clients, employees, and vendors. Whether it is going the extra mile for a client, or helping an employee get through a tough time, or sending a card to a valued vendor who lost a family member, these are things that people remember, and even if they don’t feel indebted to you will certainly appreciate you and like you a lot more than someone who is apathetic to their situation.
5 - Be Reliable
One thing that seems to come naturally to large online retailers, national corporations, and a lot harder to local businesses is trust. I know that if I place an order of flooring from Home Depot that I can count on them to deliver what I asked for in top condition, and if I don’t get what I paid for that they will reimburse me or replace anything broken. However, if I went to a local flooring store that I hadn’t heard of before and try to purchase flooring, I will be a little more nervous about my satisfaction and whether I will get my money’s worth.
As a local business - our word and honor is one of the biggest tells of future success. As the business owner if you tell a client you will do something for them, do it to your best. If you tell an employee you will allow them time off for a vacation - give them that vacation. If you promise to make a payment to a vendor, make it. Being reliable is a huge part of being liked, and a huge part of your ability for success.
While I am sure all of my readers are the very best of business owners with vendors, employees, and clients that love them to bits and pieces. With that in mind - it doesn’t hurt to find ways to be more liked by these three segments and improve those relationships with these people who drive so much of your success as a business owner. Do let us know in the comments if you have other tips to become more well liked.
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Kim Young is Founder, CEO, and a developer at Foo - a web development company based in Wesley Chapel, Florida. She can also be found on Google+. With over 16 years of experience as a web developer, Kim is excited to share with you tidbits that she has picked up along the way. Kim prioritizes continuing education and out of box thinking in order to bring the most valuable solution to Fooweb's clients.