At the most basic level, likeable people are skilled communicators. They are able to connect with people from a vast array of backgrounds. As a lawyer, here are a few things that I’ve learned about how to become likeable and successfully build trust with just about anyone.
Likeable people share stories that demonstrate their empathy.
In my line of work, emotions run high. I may not have gone through the exact situation that they’re currently experiencing, but I can understand their stress, anxiety, uncertainty and frustration of being wronged. By demonstrating to them that what they’re thinking and feeling is reasonable within context, they will start to open up and be more receptive to what you say.
Nothing builds trust faster than validating one’s emotions.
Self-assuredness is an underrated yet critical element of being likeable. People gravitate to those who show that they have faith in their own judgment, decision-making and practical abilities. Likeable people are magnetic because they know where they are going and how they are getting there.
Developing self-confidence is not easy, in fact I too struggle with this, but it’s crucial. The most effective method to nurture this is to determine your strengths. Are you patient? Are you a good listener? Do you have the ability to ask insightful questions? In other words, what comes easy to you that others struggle with? Wherever your strengths lie, capitalize on them when interacting with others. It will make a huge difference.
3. Balance Humour With Seriousness
Likeable people can sense the tone of a conversation and assess when it’s appropriate to be serious and when to lighten the mood. It’s not enough to simply carry a conversation. Likeable people know how and when to use playful anecdotes, precisely at the right moment.
4. Give More Than Take
People gravitate to others who are generous. Likeable people do not ask for much, if at all, but readily give to others without expectation of return. This does not mean material objects. But rather a willingness to donate their time, advice and emotional support. They are not too concerned with reciprocity, but rather focus on adding value with the expectation that it will generate returns later.
5. A Positive Mindset
Finally, there is nothing people are more attracted to than a positive attitude.
Likeable people rarely complain, dwell on their mistakes or blow problems out of proportion. In the face of adversity, they are able to remain positive and focused on the bigger picture. They work hard in silence, remain calm in stressful situations and stay humble when they’re achievements are recognized. They don’t talk about what they’re about to do because they’re too focused on doing it instead.
While likeable people are skilled communicators, they’re also skilled doers. They know not just when and what to say, but also when and what not to say — leaving space for their actions to demonstrate their character.
Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this story, you should check out www.jenonmoney.com where I write about personal finance, progressive economics, going against the grain, and tons more. — Jen
This originally appeared on Quora.