We all want to be liked at work–but many people think likability is something inherent and outside of their control. This is simply not true. You have direct control over your likability whether you realize it or not. In order to be more likable, you must develop your emotional intelligence and self-awareness. Don’t say, “This is just how I am, and if people don’t like it, too bad.” You can be yourself and still be more kind, compassionate, interesting, and in turn more likable.

Here are 3 easy things you can do to be more likable at work:

  1. Listen – Listening is one of the best ways to become more likable. People like to be heard and understood. When you are not actively listening, or you are listening just to respond, people can sense it and it turns them off to you. When you listen to engage and understand, the person will feel valued and heard. This will make them like you more and feel more connected to you. Show you’re an active listener by making eye contact, asking follow-up questions, giving the speaker your full attention, nodding, and never interrupting.
  2. Smile – Studies show that people who are smile are perceived as more likable. It’s really one of the easiest things you can do to appear nicer, easier to approach, and more pleasant. Studies also show the more you smile the happier you become–so faking it ’til you make it actually works here! Smile while you speak to someone, smile when you’re walking down the hall, even smiling when you’re on a call makes your voice sound more pleasant on the other end of the phone!
  3. Compliment – People love to receive compliments and recognition. When your co-worker does a good job, make sure to compliment their work. Show people that you appreciate them and their efforts. In the process, you can even learn from them by examining their work and taking notes on how to do better in your own. Make sure your compliments are sincere and rooted in truth though because people can read into phony flattery.

When you are more likable at work, you will go further in your career. Hiring managers often hire people who are easy to work with and get along well with others. Some people who perform better than others yet are not likable have a much harder time getting a promotion. Plus, you’ll be happier in the workplace when you are well-liked.