The L-factor in Leadership

It’s difficult to have influence or get much done if people don’t like you. You might be able to push people, or bully people into doing things, but if they want to do it, the quality and excellence levels go way up. People will do more for someone they like than someone they don’t like. They will do extra, go farther and stay longer.

As a leader, the more approachable and likeable you are makes a difference in your level of influence, and ability to move a vision forward.

Likeability is the ability to create positive attitudes in other people. It is bringing a sense of joy, happiness, relaxation or rejuvenation to the people around you.  It’s bringing relief from depression, anxiety or boredom. You gain more success if people like being around you. If you are all business, and all bottom line, it can drag the rest of the team down over time.

This does not mean you never disappoint people, or make tough decisions that might upset or hurt people. Leaders must make difficult decisions that can have negative impacts on people. However, if you have this quality you can ease some of the pain because people know your motives and intent is for the best, and that you genuinely care about them.

Elements of being Likeable and approachable:

  • Friendliness – Communicating welcome, expressing a generally positive feeling – I’m happy to see you, I enjoy your company, I want to hear what you have to say, you’re important.
    • Do you increase the stress level in people when you enter a room or decrease the stress level in the room?
    • Traits of friendly people:
      • Upbeat positive personality
      • Smiling
      • Really liking most people
      • General happiness
  • Relevance – You are relevant to someone when you connect to someone’s sweet spot, that area of their hearts and minds in which they are passionate or what they truly care about.
    • Can you help someone make progress or complete a task
    • Mutual interests
    • Sharing your life experience in connection with something they are going thru
    • Connecting with peoples wants and needs is they key
    • Genuine interest in what they care about
  • Empathy – the ability to perceive another person’s internal frame of reference with accuracy. Understanding another persons situation, feelings and motives
    • People feel validated and less alone when you empathize with them
    • Builds on relevance by going beyond interest in them to understanding them
    • This builds incredible trust with people
    • It also can lead to helping a person change
    • An empathetic leader makes people feel special, know they are valuable
  • Realness – someone who is genuine, true, and authentic – sincere
    • Honesty
    • Consistent in how you treat people at work at home in a restaurant
    • Being clear, frank in addressing issues – candor.

So start to work on your L factor to improve your leadership. Start with your family, then at your work. This can be hard for some people because of how they are wired and their personality, but you can improve.

Lead On!

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