Beyond the Build

Leadership

The Likability Factor

Quality, value and price are often big deciding factors as to what lands a job. If those things are equal, or close to it, what drives the transaction? The answer might be simpler than you think. We all would rather do business with people we like. 

In my book, likability–being relatable and making that personal connection–is one of the biggest ingredients to success. Some of this comes naturally, and some of it is learned. A few skills I have practiced:

Listen well. No one wants to be interrupted, and everyone wants their thoughts to be heard. Decide that what the other person has to say is most important, and act like it.

Watch nonverbal communication. I’ve been in meetings when a person says one thing and their face is 180° opposite. Remember that people “listen” with their ears and their eyes.

Learn low-key self-confidence. If you make a mistake admit it. People like people who are willing to share their shortcomings.

Have a good sense of humor. Humor makes you feel good and laugher is contagious. If you can find humor in every situation, you’ll likely endear yourself to those around you.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and President of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.