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  • Susan Fletcher, Ph.D.

How to Get Along with Others


One of the main reasons people lose their jobs isn't because they can't do the job, it is because they can't get along. Workers who cause a commotion and have difficulty getting along with others create more unproductive work, cost companies excess money, and contribute to low morale. Building a culture where the top performers work best involves a number of components. Here are just a few to look at in yourself and in the culture you create at work:

  • Nothing predicts being disliked more than aggression and negative interactions: While we all have bad days, it is important to recognize that being a hothead, even if it is just in response to being mad for an instant, can leave a bad impression. Click here to read our summary of the book Why Doesn't Anybody Like Me?

  • Increase your Emotional Intelligence (EQ): Remember that EQ involves the ability to understand your own emotions and perceive the emotions of others. It is like having a radar so you can read other people and know how to best proceed. In the workplace, a culture of high EQ is more productive. Click here to listen to an interview that I did recently for FIVE STAR SPEAKERS Bureau's "Ask the Expert" program where I discuss EQ.

  • Be solution oriented rather than problem focused: Instead of asking "why," ask "what" and "how" questions, which will get people talking about the solution.

  • Know the 4 factors that make a person likeable: Tim Sanders wrote a book called The Likeability Factor. He outlined 4 components of likeability. They are friendliness, your capacity to connect with others, your ability to be empathetic, and realness which is the integrity that stands behind your likeability and guarantees its authenticity. Chapter 12 in my book Working in the Smart Zone gives more Smart Moves to be likeable at work and home.

Finally, we all can spot likeability when we see it. Recently when the beloved Tim Russert passed away unexpectedly, the celebrations of his life showed how likeable he truly was. The stories about his relationship with his coworkers, his staff, the public who loved him without knowing him personally, even the fact that he waited for the cable man at his son's apartment the day he died show that he was a likeable guy. Almost as impressionable is the legacy of likeability that he left with his son Luke. In case you missed it, click here to watch Luke's memorable interview 3 days after his dad's death.