In your work does friendliness matter?
I’m guessing it probably does. Especially if you have any interaction with people.
You could almost equate being friendly to being likable. I believe there is something inside each one of us that wants to be accepted and liked by others. Tim Sanders wrote a book titled The Likability Factor. Tim is an author of a New York Times bestseller and leadership coach for Yahoo!. He has spent a lot of time with people and helping them succeed and he writes this:
“Likeability is an ability to create positive attitudes in other people through the delivery of emotions and physical benefits. Someone who is likable can give you a sense of joy, happiness, relaxation, or rejuvenation. He or she can bring you relief from depression, anxiety, or boredom.”
If you are a team leader you need to find ways to be friendly. I heard a CEO of a mid-sized company in the midwest say that in interviewing potential employees he counts the number of times a person smiles.
Be friendly doesn’t mean that you use a fake smile and a fake voice to appease people. I think great leaders know how to mix a tenacious spirit and still be friendly. The key to balancing this is taking advantage of regular opportunities to care about people and value them as individuals in and out of the meeting room.
Three Ways to Boost Your Friendliness-Factor
1. Smile. One indicator of your friendliness is in your smile. You don’t have to have that staged airbrush smile you see in magazines, but the fact that you smile at people when you pass them in the hall. Many people think they are smiling when they are not. Try and catch yourself. If you do business on the phone try and smile even though the other person can’t see it. Your voice tones will be much friendlier.
2. Use relaxed non-verbal communication. Your body language can communicate positive or negative feelings. Make eye contact while talking and lean in slightly to communicate interest in the other person.
3. Plan to be at meetings early. If you get to meeting early then you can have a couple of minutes to smile, shake hands, and be normal people before you jump into the details of business. If you are the leader you can set the tone at the beginning of meetings by adding a touch of personal connection. Much about being a great leader and becoming a better leader today than I was yesterday is reminding ourselves of the obvious and simple. Great leadership is not unknown.
There are many things you can do to communicate friendliness. Starbucks, extra vacation, free lunch, and massages can help your cause. But you are a leader and don’t have to buy the friendliness factor. Make a point to be a friendly person and your team will likely become a friendly team.