As I recently approached a toll booth, I expected the same song-and-dance. It's always the same, you've been there. I hand over the money, the guardrail bar (that you wish you could drive through and snap off - once in your life -like in the movies) and am allowed to proceed. It’s pretty common everywhere. What I didn’t expect was the exceptionally pleasant attendant who greeted me with a genuine smile and sincerely asked how I was. I’m not going to lie. This made my whole day, and I've thought of it several times since.
If you’re able to experience this small measure of happiness in your workplace, I can safely say that you don’t dread going to work since you’re being lead by an irresistible person who makes you feel like you are worth something and every day a great day. These effective leaders are able to accomplish this through these nine secrets.
1. They Follow the Platinum Rule
Most individuals have heard of the familiar, "Golden Rule." The Golden Rule says something like, "Do to other people what you would like them to do for you." And, it’s an excellent rule that we should all strive to achieve. However, as Dr. Travis Bradberry points out, The Golden Rule “has a fatal flaw: it assumes that all people want to be treated the same way.” In other words, the Golden Rule doesn’t address the fact that we’re all motivated differently. For example, receiving an award is great. But, if you’re an introvert, you may dread being the center of attention.
The "Platinum Rule" addresses that flaw since it treats people how they want to be treated. Bradberry adds, “Irresistible people are great at reading other people, and they adjust their behavior and style to make others feel comfortable.”
2. They Smile...a Lot
Watch Sir Richard Branson during this interview from a 2007 TED Conference. He’s constantly smiling - and even laughs off a joke at his expensive. If you follow the life and work of Branson, you know that the founder of the Virgin Group always has a smile on his face and is positive. No wonder it’s so easy to be drawn the man.
One time I was returning a plate to a friend of mine who had brought my family a treat. My cousin was in the car riding with me. As we approached the friends house, I was saying what a kind friend this was and how this friend was alway smily and happy. My cousin's response was, "Well I could be all sweetsy-cutesy too, if I had that kind of money (she was looking at the house size). I tried to explain to this cousin that I had known this person for years and years and she had not always been wealthy -- but she had always been happy, generous, and one with a smile on her face.
By the way, smiling has been found to be contagious. So that explains why we find people like Branson so likeable.
3. They Don’t Complain
“The only thing complaining does is convince other people that you are not in control,” says Dale Partridge, founder of StartupCamp.com and author of “People Over Profit.” Partridge explains that “When an employee or subordinate hears you complain about anything, whether it’s today’s traffic or the deadline you’re struggling to hit, it places unnecessary weight upon their shoulders and builds contempt in the hearts of everyone who follows you.”
4. They Make You Feel Like a MVP
Irresistible leaders make you feel like a MVP. They greet you by name. They ask how you and your family are doing. They listen to your ideas. They empower you. And, generally they just make you feel good about yourself. When was the last time you thought only of the other person and helped that someone else feel great about themselves?
5. They’re Generous
Being generous isn’t just about giving back to the community, which is always important trait for successful leaders. This type of generosity focuses more on the fact that they want you to be successful more than anything else.
Barbara Bonner, author of “Inspiring Generosity,” writes in the Huffington Post that generous leaders share twenty common qualities, such as giving credit, celebrating success, creating a positive work environment, and they don’t blame others.
6. They Know Who to Touch (and They Touch Them)
“When you touch someone during a conversation, you release oxytocin in their brain, a neurotransmitter that makes their brain associate you with trust and a slew of other positive feelings,” says Dr. Bradberry on Inc.com. “A simple touch on the shoulder, a hug, or a friendly handshake is all it takes to release oxytocin.” However, make sure that this is appropriate for your situation. If you want to incorporate this trait into your personality - watch those naturally touchy-feely people. People flock to them, because the simple touch also seems to validate that the person is liked. No one is going to touch someone they can't stand.
7. They’re Not Afraid of Uncertainty
"Uncertainty is always much worse than bad news," says Shane Atchison, CEO of creative agency POSSIBLE. You owe it to your people to let them know as quickly as possible if something bad might happen to them," says Atchison. "You don't want someone to learn their job is in trouble by handing them a pink slip. That's just not cool." This type of behavior from a leader also frightens the rest of your team and causes mistrust throughout your organization.
8. They Put Away Their Smartphones
This is more of a recent phenomenon, but in today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, we seem to be on our smartphones all the time. That exaggeration may not actually be that far off either since research has found that Americans check their social media accounts at least once every waking hour.
Even if you think that you’re a ninja at secretly texting or tweeting, people notice when you’re on your phone and not giving them your undivided attention. And, to prove how big of a deal this is, who would you rather spend time with? The person engaging you in conversation? Or the individual glancing down at their phone every five minutes? I decided the other day what I think being "slighted by the smartphone" actually feels like.
Rushing in a store to buy a gift I had forgotten to pick up earlier, I waited in a line and finally got up to the counter. The sales woman began to ring up my purchase. It was then her phone rang. She picked up the phone and began talking to another customer. The sales women said into the phone, "Oh, yes I do believe we have one of those belts left, let me run and look for you." The clerk put the phone on hold and left the register to go find the belt for the stranger on the phone rather than ringing up my purchase. Acting rather immature, I suppose, I tossed the stuff down that I had come to buy and left. Nothing shuts down true communication faster than realizing your not really all that important.
9. They Don’t Always Have to Be Right
“Every battle has a consequence,” says Dale Partridge of StartupCamp.com. People get angry. Feelings get hurt. Objects get broken. And, more importantly, any problem can lead us to losing sight of the big picture - such as collaborating to complete a project - if we let it.
Likable leaders are able to keep the peace at all costs - even if to keep the peace will come at the expense of them not being right. These leaders keep control of themselves emotionally, they don't have explosions of temper that steals trust from their employees. They know how to pick their battles and these magical leaders have studied their teams enough and know them well enough that the leader can read the parties involved like a book - in order to develop healthy conflict resolutions.