There’s a simple way to be more effective in every interaction with other people: start by being likable.
There are three ways that being likable will help you as a nonprofit leader:
1. Your team will feel more positively about working with you.
Having a positive relationship with the leader is one of the most important factors in job satisfaction. If you’re likable and your team feels positively around you, they are more likely to trust you, respect you, and align with your vision. Nonprofit employees work too hard and are paid to little to put up with a leader who isn’t pleasant to be around. And as Millenials take over the workforce, this will be more important than ever before.
2. Donors will be more inclined to support your organization.
People give from the heart, often in response to a direct, personal request. If you’re meeting with donors and you don’t come across as likable, this will affect the donor’s response. A donor may feel that an unlikable nonprofit leader is untrustworthy, dispassionate for the mission, or a generally negative person — all of which are going to undermine their confidence as they consider a gift. On the other hand, being likable helps donors feel a personal connection as they discuss their support for your organization.
3. You’ll end each day happier.
“What’s that? I thought this whole ‘likable’ thing was to trick other people into doing what I wanted?” No, not at all. I’m not suggesting that you fake it. I’m saying that if being likable helps people feel more positively when they’re around you, it will work on you, too. After all, who do you spend the most time with everyday? Yourself.
So what do I mean by being likable? Here’s a brainstorm list of 10 things that likable leaders do:
- Make fun of themselves
- Respect others’ time
- Acknowledge others’ contributions
- Ask people about themselves
- Be present in conversations
- Look people in the eye
- Avoid speaking ill of those not present
Question: What other things do likable people do? In what ways have you found that likable people are more effective? Please leave a comment below – it will really help by turning this into a conversation!