Do you know someone that appears to sail through life? They make friends easily, are constantly being presented with fun invitations or good opportunities, and they seem to effortlessly get noticed, personally and professionally. While they might be good-looking, funny, or successful, it’s unlikely that’s why.
Being personable is strongly linked to being likeable. It’s likely your well-liked friend with the great relationships, opportunities, and career is highly personable.
The good news is you don’t need to be good-looking, funny, or successful to be personable. You don’t even need to be extroverted. How personable you are depends on social skills that can be learned, practiced, and improved. Here are seven actionable ways you can become more personable starting now:
- Be confident. When you’re confident in who you are, you worry less about what others think, which allows you to be more authentic and focus on the person with whom you’re interacting. Confidence is knowing and liking who you are. This is a choice, and it’s possible for everyone. Start by defining your purpose. When you decide what you’re here for, your ability to live confidently gets easier.
- Be curious. It’s not hard to be personable when you’re genuinely curious. It leads you to ask questions, listen, and care. Everyone has a story. Being curious enough to find out what those stories are will produce a genuineness in your interactions that makes you personable.
- Appreciate people for who they are. Not everyone you meet is going to be a great professional contact, a new friend, or someone you have a lot in common with; however, everyone has something to offer. When that’s your mindset, you can appreciate everyone you converse with and in turn, they will like and appreciate you.
- Reject assumptions and judgments. Author Brene Brown did a survey and presented her findings in her recent book Rising Strong. Her survey question was, “do you think people are doing the best they can?” She got both yes’s and no’s and a variety of justifications for both answers. Her takeaway was this: it’s better for you if you assume others are doing the best they can. When you do, you are kinder, more empathetic, more forgiving of yourself and others, and more personable. If you can avoid assumptions, labels, and judgments based on the way a person looks or acts, you’re able to be more authentic and personable in every situation.
- Try to learn something new in every conversation. Go into every conversation with the goal of learning something new. This prevents you from going through the motions of conversing without really listening or being present. It can be as simple as finding out what they had for lunch that day (if it fits the conversation). The desire to want to learn something new will make you more personable.
- Find your common ground. All humans feel emotion, are limited by time, desire to be loved, and have the same needs of food, water, and shelter. Whether you’re speaking to a CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a person on the street corner, you have your humanity in common. With that in mind, find a topic to discuss that affects you both. This honors yourself and others, allowing you to converse on the same level regardless of how different your situations may be.
- Treat others like the only person in the room. Be present for every conversation and use nonverbal communication to show it. Look them in the eyes, don’t check your watch or your phone, and offer affirmation that you’re listening such as a head nod or smile. Listen carefully and ask follow up questions. When you’re ready to end the conversation, do so without looking around or looking down. Express gratitude for their time and politely excuse yourself.
Being personable is the best way to build authentic relationships, which is the key to unlocking your true potential. It’s human nature to want to feel valued, being personable is a way to do that with every person you interact with. View being personable as a gift you can give others. If you go in with that objective, you won’t expect any benefits in return, but I promise you’ll get them.