Everyone wants to be liked. Given the choice between being liked or disliked, very few (sane) people would choose the latter. However, where does being liked rank on your list of priorities?
For some people, it’s at the top of their list. They wouldn’t admit it, but their actions prove otherwise. Keeping the peace, being on the “inside” of a selective peer group, or being considered “a nice person” is of the utmost importance. They avoid any form of conflict, fail to speak truth, and generally blend in with the majority crowd.
However, they often do so at the expense of contribution. They are less effective than they’re capable of being simply because they crave perception over progress.
If this is you, it’s possible to flip the script, and it doesn’t mean being a dislikable SOB.
Speak truth with empathy
You can be a truth-teller, and do it in a way that others are likely to receive it. Whenever you have to deliver difficult truth to someone, consider the context, the timing, and how the other person is most likely to positively receive your words. (I offer more tips for communicating with empathy in [amazon_link id=”1591847524″ target=”_blank” ]Louder Than Words[/amazon_link].)
Where in your work/life are you shying away from speaking truth?
Never throw a teammate under the bus
When others are gossiping about a co-worker, or issuing blame for something, it’s tempting to jump into the conversation in order to feel included. However, each time you do so you are creating a little breach in trust, and decreasing your effectiveness and overall standing.
Are there environments you should avoid so that you don’t fall into these conversations?
Maintain your edge
Over time, it’s easy to allow the organization to smooth out and round off your rough edges. It may be tempting to allow this to happen so that you fit in better, but doing so causes you to lose your strong competitive and creative advantage. Don’t feel the need to soften your perspective out of a desire to play organizational politics. The edge that people scoff at now is the very thing that will celebrate later.
Where are you compromising your perspective and softening your edge in order to fit in?
My encouragement to you: whenever you are making a big decision, leading a conversation, or facing a crossroads with a project, ask yourself “do I want to be liked, or do I want to be effective?”
You can be both, but you can’t chase both at the same time.
Last modified: December 1, 2022