“Harriet gets others to cooperate on projects when no one else can,” commented a peer.
“It’s true,” said another. “Peers, employees in other departments and even customers and vendors go out of their way to help her.”
“Everyone likes Harriet.”
When asked why Harriet had so much influence, acquaintances responded:
“She is very understanding and always takes an interest in what you are doing.”
“She is a genuine person. What you see is what you get.”
“She does not draw attention to herself, but she is very confident in her abilities.”
“Harriet is open-minded and good-natured.”
“Harriet is calm and consistent; never seems to get ruffled.”
In other words, Harriet is a person that is easy to like and likeable people are more influential. When given a choice of helping a repugnant person with a high-value request and a likeable person with a less-valued request, almost two-thirds of employees prioritize the “likeable” request over the “repugnant.”
To increase your influence, behave in ways that are more winsome. Ask questions. Listen. Discuss common interests. Offer support. Acknowledge others. Be quick to give credit. Be a good neighbor.
But always remember, these behaviors make you more attractive only if they are genuine.