The Likeability Factor

“I feel like I know her, such a nice person.”

I wrote this almost a year ago, as part of a blog about how to make a difference in presenting yourself in only one minute. I have thought about this sentence and you might wonder why. It’s a good thing right? If people think of you as a nice person? Of course it is. But there was a time when I made it my goal – unconsciously- to be perceived as ‘a nice person’. I really wanted people to like me.

Think about it, when working towards a promotion or building your own company and brand: How do you want people to see you? What is your end goal? If you want to be the next manager or CEO, which traits are important? Phrases like strong negotiator, getting-things-done attitude, inspirational leader, might come to mind. Maybe you want your co-workers or clients to see you as loyal, hard working, socially involved and so on. You want the core values that will help you move forward to stand out. Would it help to be seen as a nice person? Do the ambitious men of this world ever think about being perceived as nice when they climb the corporate ladder?

So when you want to become conscious of the way you are perceived and are working on how you present yourself, do not put being liked on your list. First of all, no matter what you do, half of the people will not like you anyway. That’s not even about you. It’s about them and that makes it none of your business. Secondly, having that as an end goal will make you dishonest. Let me repeat that for you: If you put being liked on your list it will make you dishonest. If you are busy with painting the best picture of yourself just for people to like you, you will not be transparent. If someone asks you for your opinion, for instance, you might just tell them what they want to hear, instead of what you really think.

Stay close to your own beliefs. Find those traits in your character that will help you in your growth. Be passionate, speak your mind, develop your best assets and present them to the fullest. People may not always like you, but in the end, they will respect you. They will see your passion. And passion rubs off. Now isn’t that the nicest thing.


Astrid Rose is a teacher in presentation skills at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. With a marketing education and over 15 years working experience in music and entertainment, she learned along the way what makes a convincing, inspiring story and helps companies and individuals with successfully presenting their stories and thus building strong brands.