Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Is Likeability Such a Big Deal?

I landed on to this blog after a colleague had criticised it on hers. I ended up reading some of her other posts including the "Making Yourself More Likable at Work" one. Being easy to work with and having a good attitude does help a person's career. But putting likeability ahead of hard work? I have a problem with that.

If a person smiles ear to ear, runs personal errands for colleagues but doesn't get any work done in the office, would that merit a promotion? Even if it did, I don't think the person would be ready for it. Besides, once you get into the subjective "likeability" game, I think a person stands to lose self-respect after some point. A lot of things in this world are earned -- slowly, surely and with experience. And going through those ups and downs makes a person more mature, capable and worthy. Taking shortcuts by being "likeable" seems juvenile!

Even in the social domain, I think likeability is over-rated. I know people who are quite artificial in their efforts to be considered "sweet" or "likeable". And no matter what they try, I know that I don't like them because of their efforts to be too caring/sweet/likeable! If a person is honest, interesting, friendly and straight-forward, people will naturally gravitate toward them. There's too many complications in this world already. People don't need another complex, emotionally mixed-up, confusing personality in their lives -- whether at work or outside of it!


SamY said...

comming to think about it, even people dressing presentably is in a way about making oneself more likeable :) ... ain't it?

as for those who are artificial ... never met such / I didn't care to take notice of em :)

Priya said...


i think nomatter how much so ever you try to create a likeable image, it would not work unless they really are

Anonymous said...

In work place I think a person who is approachable is generally likeable.

As a whole as u said "If a person is honest, interesting, friendly and straight-forward, people will naturally gravitate toward them."
I agree to it.


Anonymous said...

The bottom line to being liked is not desperately seeking it. Being open is good. Being interesting is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition. Taking the extra step to and when helping, maintaining personal boundaries and respecting others' and a polite but firm demeanor scores every time.


Hellboy said...

"most people think they're more likable than they really are, and therefore don't try hard enough"

"Being quiet because you're insecure.

People are inherently social animals. If you have nothing that you want to say, then you're probably not likable because you have nothing to offer.

But if you do have things to say but don't say them, then you're not likable only because you're so insecure that you believe you'll sound stupid when you talk."

Where does she comes up with stuff like this :)

I dont know who she is offering these advice to, but I bet it is not for workers on oil rigs, high sea fishermen, software whiz kids, hardware designers, Power/telecom/mech/civil and all other engineers, people in boiler like board rooms, traders on the stock exchange floor, people on various assembly lines, factories and pretty much every other career.

Thinking about this, she just might be offering this advice to the guys at Dunder - Mifflin, Scranton branch :)

Brazen Careerist??? sounds like the title of Meryl Streep/Diane Keaton, Reese Witherspoon/Kristen Dunst starer.

I really hope nobody takes her advice seriously.

Sriram said...

unless you are likeable by nature, anything you do to improve your 'likeability' is artificial and hence worth contempt..

dinesh said...

The corollary to your theorem !

Kishore Duddekunta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Badhri said...

Hi Subha,
I rarely, but do visit you blog. Interesting read. Esp. the one that you talked about a "jig-saw" puzzle you bought and drew a parallel with getting to know people.

Am, tagging you. More details @

Of course, its up to you!