The Importance of Being Liked

Do people like you? The ability to make people like you is one of the most valuable talents you can possibly possess. Lots of people don’t know that; they make statements like “I’m not running a popularity contest around here,” or “I’d rather be right than president.”

Being disliked has its downside. The great Egyptian theologian and teacher, Origen, prefaced a passage on a particularly difficult subject with the warning, “Now it is possible that some may dislike what we have said . . .”. They obviously did; he was soon after run out of town, with his own bishop leading the charge.

Without “likability,” your other talents — no matter how great — may be largely wasted. You may never get a chance to use them in a way that would do the greatest good, for yourself or for others.

Anyone in a leadership role in the church must realize the value of being well liked. “Likability” is one of the fundamental ingredients of good leadership. People are more willing to cooperate with someone they like than someone they don’t. The key to being a successful Lay Coordinator is not in doing all the work yourself; it’s in organizing and motivating others, and that requires cooperation and “likability.”

Here are a few pointers on being likable:

  1. Smile! Greet people with a smile as you pass them and as you say good-bye.
  2. Don’t be a grouch. Be concerned with the feelings and importance of others.
  3. Have a sincere interest in people and their problems. Ask them questions and listen.
  4. Forget about your own problems for a while. Concentrate on others.
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