We've talked several times about how being likable is a powerful career asset. In fact, some experts say that being likable is as important as -- or even more important than -- doing a great job.
Whether or not likability is as important as how you perform isn't an issue we can probably ever resolve. But what we all likely can agree to is the fact that being likable does have significant, positive career implications.
CNN Money agrees with this line of thinking. In fact, they say that . Their thoughts:
Are you too busy to stop by your colleague's office to chat or go to lunch? Or are you someone who keeps work relationships strictly business? Be warned: If you're not reaching out to make and nurture friendships at work, you're probably hurting your career.
Recent research finds that people who initiate office friendships, pick up slack for their co-workers, and organize workplace social activities are 40% more likely to get a promotion in the subsequent two years. "How much you give at work directly affects how much you get at work," says Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work.
So why are these friendly people so much more likely to get a promotion? Because people like them! And in a world where there are so many decent workers, managers and executives would rather promote good workers they like than good workers (or even great workers) they don't like.
And while being likable can advance your career, being unlikable can kill it.
I was having lunch with a friend a couple weeks ago and he told me he had just fired one of his top performers. She did an excellent job, but there was just one problem -- everyone hated her. Her personality was toxic and had turned an otherwise great work environment sour (this is a small office of 15 people or so.) Eventually my friend had to let her go. Even though she did such a great job, her personality and actions were dragging down everyone else's results, and that was something his business just couldn't take.
Of course there are exceptions to the rule, like the guy people hate but who gets promoted because he can sell like a fiend. Or the person who gets fired even though he's the greatest guy in the world -- because he's a poor performer (I actually had to fire a guy like this once because he wasn't pulling his weight and my staff was suffering.) So I am NOT saying that being likable is all you need to do to get ahead in your career. But I am saying that it's an important factor in your career success, so you should strive to be as likable as possible.
Besides, it's a much better way to go through life IMO.