Thursday, September 4, 2014
Are You Likable?
I almost fell to the floor with laughter in the lobby of my building today. I was waiting on a client. While waiting, this man was on his cell phone screaming (probably at his wife or partner) that his employees hated him. I wonder why! He kept screaming and screaming, he was getting louder and louder. I started to think "how can you be so smart and yet not understand why you're not likable?"
Business is tough. You often have to be hard as nails, but you don't have to scream or be a jerk most of the time to get your point across or as a way to feel respected by employees. In fact, studies show that nice CEOs tend to have more loyal employees and better retention rates when it comes to turnover. So, what makes a CEO likable? I've come up with a few theories.
First, I think people like honest people. Even if the truth is going to hurt, people rather know where they stand with someone vs. being told one thing and not knowing the truth. Honesty tells the world that the CEO is about transparency and isn't into playing politics, which equates to success.
I also believe people want to be heard. CEOs who take the time to listen to their employees are more likable and respected. Even if you don't agree with what an employee is stating, simply listening validates that their opinion / concerns are heard and this will have a positive result internally.
Finally, work. Yes, work! CEOs who are out of the office "doing lunch" or "golfing" automatically cause resentment among many people. Sure, you need to wine and dine potential clients and business partners, but don't make a habit out of it. Instead, keep the blinds or door to your office open. Let your staff see you working. This will let your staff know that you are involved with the company and it will also keep them more accountable.
Twyla N. Garrett