Want to be more likable? Stop being so nice!

Cadre’s next Un-Networking event is on June 6 and will feature bestselling author Rohit Bhargava, discussing his new book, Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior, and Inspiring Action, released earlier this week.

Likeonomics is about why some people and companies are more believable than others and why likeability is the real secret to being more trusted, getting more customers, making more money – and perhaps even changing your life. I’ve had the privilege of reading this book and it is as good, if not better, than Bhargava’s first bestseller, Personality Not Included. I highly recommend it. You can get it wherever you buy books, including Amazon.

One of my favorite takeaways from Likeonomics is the idea that being nice doesn’t necessarily correlate with being more likable. (Great news for someone like me, who errs on the side of being brutally honest.) I’m not suggesting we should all become big jerks, nor am I suggesting that being a nice person is a bad idea. What I am suggesting is that by swapping out being agreeable with being straightforward and blunt, we will appear more authentic and increase the likelihood that others will like and trust us.

Bhargava shares a great story about Steve Jobs to prove his point. “Jobs, despite his well-known ego and arrogance, had a talent for telling the truth which people loved. A few months before he passed away, Nike CEO Mark Parker was asked by an interviewer about the best piece of advice he had ever been given. He recalled calling Jobs shortly after becoming CEO and asking him for any advice. “Well, just one thing,” said Jobs. “Nike makes some of the best products in the world. Products that you lust after. But you also make a lot of crap. Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.” He wasn’t joking. It was that type of honesty and clarity of vision that attracted people to Jobs. It made him likeable, in his own way.”

Another situation in which being upfront with someone instead of being nice could be the better choice involves our interactions with potential clients who have decided not to work with us. For whatever reason, there are people out there who would rather “be nice” and string us along instead of being upfront and telling us they’re not interested. Just cut to the chase! The more time that passes, the more hopeful the person becomes, and the more let down they will be when they finally hear the bad news. In my opinion, dealing with a little bit of awkwardness in the short term is much better than the possibility of building animosity or resentment.

So if you are not interested in using my services, please be honest and let me have it. We can shake hands and move on. I will be much more inclined to like and respect you since you didn’t string me along, waste my time (and yours), and create false hope for no reason.

Do you agree?

This is just one of many great stories from Likeonomics. Again, I strongly recommend the book and encourage you to visit the Likeonomics website to view some great bonus content. Bhargava is also offering consulting and webinars to organizations that buy in bulk.

I hope to see you on June 6 at the Likeonomics Launch event. Early Bird registration ends tomorrow and don’t forget to use the code CADREHOOKUP to save some $$.

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