4 Ways You Can Become More Likeable at Work

By Chelsea Babin

So many employers are looking at more than just your technical talent and work experience, they want to make sure you’re likable and emotionally intelligent too. Whether your coworkers already think you’re likable and you’re just looking to improve or you’re starting a new job and wanting to make the best impression possible, the following 4 attributes are most commonly associated with emotionally intelligent employees.

1. Empathize: The ability to put yourself in others’ shoes is incredibly important, especially in the workplace. If a coworker is struggling to keep up with their workload, your empathy is what drives you to offer assistance if you can. If your boss is particularly short and snippy with you about a project you’re working on, your empathy is what prevents you from being argumentative and assures them in a calm, respectful manner that you’re making progress and expect to be done on time. From preventing conflicts and confrontations to simply helping you understand why someone might be in a sour mood that day, the ability to empathize will go a long way to making you a more likable coworker.

2. Ask Questions: How do you know what someone needs if you don’t ask? How do you know how someone feels if you don’t ask? How do you know what someone wants if you don’t ask? Questions are the key to likability because they help you stay on the same page as your coworkers and bosses while showing active interest in their work lives. You’ll be surprised at how many coworkers will go from quiet to open and honest when you simply start asking them questions. They’ll also see how interested you are in their situation, feelings, and opinions and be more likely to fill you in on project progress or updates in the future.

3. Take Pauses: When tensions begin to escalate, you’ll notice that most people don’t take a moment to breathe, consider what’s going on in the situation, and then react. These knee-jerk reactions often lead to confrontations that could be detrimental to your relationships with your coworkers or boss and may even lead to major career set backs. The solution? Take pauses! When you take a short break you can objectively review the situation and stop yourself from saying or doing anything that’s impulsive and out of line. When you take a pause you’ll find plenty of time to come up with an appropriate response that won’t jeopardize your likability or your career.

4. Reflect: If you’re going home from work agitated or heading to lunch in a huff, there’s something wrong. Instead of pushing your worries away and trying to deal with them in the morning, take a moment to reflect on why you’re feeling negative or upset. When you find the source of all of that negativity, you’ll often find an appropriate solution so the situation won’t repeat itself or, if it does, you’ll be able to cope and keep the negative feelings at bay. When you do this you won’t head back to work with piled on resentments that can lead to short fuses and impulsive negativity, which will make every one of your coworkers feel more at ease around you.

Being likable isn’t all about charm in the workplace. Instead, it has a lot to do with your level of engagement on the job and your emotional intelligence. With these 4 habits, you’ll become a more likable coworker and you’ll probably end up liking your coworkers a lot more!