The mentor in the movie The Hunger Games advises his protégés, “If you want to survive, get people to like you.” View the clip here. Although most of us don’t worry about having to get actually killed on the job ala The Hunger Games, there was something about this advice that resonated for me today. It just feels true doesn’t it? Thankfully most jobs don’t involve teenagers coming at us with knives or an evil audience betting on our demise. However, most of us are concerned on a daily basis with surviving, thriving, and having influence in our jobs and careers. In fact, research discussed in a recent Wall Street Journal article explained that likeability is a key factor in professionals being successful at work. This makes sense as some of my past research has found a solid relationship between being likeable and attracting and keeping a mentor. In fact, being likeable may be one of the most important things you can do to ensure mentoring in the workplace … which has all sorts of positive career benefits.
Some of us are inherently more likeable than others, but almost everyone can improve their likeability factor by heeding suggestions outlined by research discussed in the recent Wall Street Journal article.
Also, I wanted to say a special thanks to my students who presented today (Jack, Amy, and Andre) who brought this clip to my attention and inspired me today!
So, what do you think? Do you care about being likeable? Part of me hates telling women to be likeable because I feel like this message can be really counter-productive and yet it does seem to matter. Maybe if we just see being likeable as being kind, these ideas are more palatable. Hope this helps as you go forward to getting a mentoring in the workplace of your dreams!