I've always said I'd rather give a speech to hundreds than mingle with a small group.  I'm pretty certain I'm not the only one. I'm not a psychologist, so I'm sure there is a more complex answer for this anxiety, but my guess is that it comes down to the fear of not being liked or more plainly stated, being rejected.  This is the same fear that exists in sales.

I love sales, or should I say I like getting the sale and working with a new interesting client.  I don't always enjoy the sales process.  I like talking to people, I like helping people, but I don't enjoy being rejected. After all, it's hard not to take rejection personally especially when you're an entrepreneur and  own the business, manage the work and do the sales. But what if there was a way to remove the rejection, would it make sales and mingling more comfortable? Could removing fear and being more likeable actually make a person more successful?
Can Being More Likeable Make You More Successful?

I've recently listen to a podcast and TEDx talk with Arel Moodie.  He's written a book on The Real Art of Becoming Likeable. He philosophy on obtaining success is not what you know; it is not about who you know;  but who knows you and who likes you.

So what is the true art of likeability? Getting people to say, I want to help this person and see them succeed.

So this sounds easy, so why are we not all helping each other succeed and working towards being more likeable? According to Arel, it's because we have a skewed impression of what likeability really means. Being likeable doesn't mean you are the most gregarious, the most skillful, the one with the biggest personality. It's actually more important that you are genuine, and yourself. It is neither introvert nor extrovert that makes you more likeable.

To be likeable you first must become interested in people and then they will become interested in you. This is a pretty great concept if you think of it from as sales and networking standpoint.  For those of us who sell we know we need to spend more time listening than pitching our idea. So what we if change from being hunters to gathers of information. A person who brings solutions and people together?

There are two people I have met this year that I find really exemplify Arel's definition of 'Likeability'.  Frank Iannelli a fractional CEO/CFO in DFW and Erin Steed founder of Working Women of Dallas Fort Worth. What really stands out with both individuals is their ability to not only connect with people, but to connect people together.

Frank champions many events where he facilitates the bringing of executives together.  He is both a trusted advisor to many businesses and a mentor to everyone from college students to top level executives.  Even having a cup of coffee with Frank an hour away from his office, people we stopping by to say hello. Frank's secret, like that of Arel, is becoming interested in people and helping them succeed.

Erin is taking making connections to the next level. Erin has started Working Women of Dallas Fort Worth.  With a background in talent, writing and production, her life has been dedicated to making others shine. As a busy mom and entrepreneur she is adding more to her plate by leading  the fastest growing women's networking and leadership group in North Texas. With an emphasis on educational programming and purposeful connection events, Erin is sure to score high 'likeability' marks. 

As I step into the new year, I'm going to challenge myself to better connect.  Better understand those I meet, to engage, be interested in them, and help them achieve more of their personal goals and maybe I too can boost my likeability.

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  • Judy Hoberman

    Great article Tracy. I have known Frank for many years and he is an original Go-Giver. I always say that you have to be interested, not interesting. Although I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Erin yet, I know that both she and Frank are great examples of that.

    Judy Hoberman

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