Increase your likeability as a leader

Leadership development and leadership solutions

Seven key steps that executives can take to increase their likeability… It seems unlikely that a complex issue could be overcome by following a few simple steps. However, Harvard Business Review conducted a research project to see if this was possible. They asked 51,836 leaders to use 360 Assessments and created a likeability index based on the collected data, measuring a set of behaviours that go ‘far beyond smiling and having a pleasant personality’.

FACT: Of all the leaders surveyed, 27 were rated at the bottom in terms of likeability but at the top in terms of overall leadership effectiveness: That’s one out of 2000. Proving that it’s technically possible to be an effective leader without being likeable, but it’s rare.

This is important when considering what you are using to drive the leadership development in your organisation. Does it only look at competency? Is this enough?

At Be Learning we are particularly interested in these results as in the area of leadership solutions, we use LMAP 360 Feedback Tools to highlight how leadership personality and behavioural traits are linked to leadership effectiveness. By identifying leader’s strengths and rough spots and acting on the results, we believe businesses can work to create better safer working environments and drive business performance.

If you want to be an effective leader that is also likeable, Harvard Business Review results show that we should follow these seven steps.

1. Increase positive emotional connections with others. This means that the emotions you express will infect others. Awareness of your emotional state is important. Try to spread positivity, as others will copy this.

2. Display integrity. We like leaders that we can trust; we don’t like leaders that we can’t trust.

3. Cooperate with others. A leader is there to unite employees to work together in a common purpose, not to be in competition with others.

4. Be a coach, mentor and teacher. People usually keep positive memories of their coaches and mentors. Help others develop their skillset; it’s a gift that’s never forgiven.

5. Be an inspiration. Most leaders can push and pull. They know very well how to drive result, but they also roll up their sleeves when necessary and pitch in with the team. Be an inspiration to your team, as inspiring leaders are more likeable.

6. Be visionary and future focused. Employees that not clearly understand where they’re headed and how they’ll get there, become frustrated and dissatisfied. Sharing the same vision as other employees inspires confidence.

7. Ask for feedback and make an effort to change. The LMAP 360 tool clearly shows that people find themselves more likely than their peers do. You can bridge this gap by asking for feedback and understanding the positive and negative impact you have.

Are you curious how you are perceived and experienced by those around you? If you would like to know more, have a look at Be Learning’s LMAP 360 Feedback Tools.