… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

Professionalism matters, but so does likability.

We all know the importance of presenting a professional image when we are at work and when going on job interviews (we do all know this, right?). But is it enough to just be professional? Don’t we need to be personable as well? If you are a confident, energetic, and a generally likable person, does that give you an edge over someone who, while professional, is more mellow and laid back?

Professionals who are also personable seem to have the following advantages:

-They relate well to others and others feel comfortable around them.
-They can diffuse potentially tense situations and work well with people who don’t agree with them.
-People trust them. Quite useful, for example, if you are in sales or if you are a lawyer.
-They make people feel like they matter.

I know people who are hard workers, dedicated, and smart. They may convey an image of professionalism, but they lack the instant likability that endears them to others. In spite of their great qualities, that lack of likability seems to be holding them back. For example, when faced with two candidates with similar qualifications and one is engaging and the other is calm and quiet, who are you more likely to hire?

Likability, or the lack thereof, won’t make up for bad ideas, lack of skills and education, or general incompetence, but I can certainly see how it can be a useful skill to develop. Because a person’s perception is their reality, you want to convey the best image you can.

Below are a couple of great sites on how to improve your likability.

Here and Here.

5 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Rachel - Employment File :

    How much does it matter? Some people seem to get by just fine being unlikable and there always seems to be others that get along with the unlikable person.

    PS. I try to be friendly at work but being likable is not a goal (I’m in HR how can I be likable).

  • 2 MsPinkSlip :

    This is so important. The ability to make people comfortable and engage them sets some apart from others. I believe in building relationships. It pays off.

  • 3 HR Minion :

    Rachel – I think HR pros can be likable, even if people don’t agree with us. I know a few people whose jobs put them in direct conflict with others and yet they are still well liked. I think it can be hard to pull it off though.

    mspinkslip – Good point on relationship building.

  • 4 Rachel - Employment File :

    I don’t know. I agree with being “friendly” but I think “likable” is not something we should be worried about achieving. When I first posted about getting a direct report I said that I wanted my dr to like me. Someone responded that I should not worry about that and should instead make sure she respects me.

  • 5 HR Minion :

    Rachel – You have a point there. I would rather have the respect.