4 Ways to Be Liked at Work

Getting ahead in the workplace isn’t just about being good at your job. It’s also about being liked by those you work with. Popularity shouldn’t be a goal in and of itself, but being well-liked by coworkers and managers has a lot of perks.

I’m sure you know at least one person who is doing considerably better than you career-wise even though he or she has weaker professional skills than you, by knowing how to make themselves liked by others.

He isn’t the best at his job, but because he gets along well with others, he learns about the latest career opportunities, gets invited to participate in all the cool projects, and gets that promotion nearly everybody craves.

The fact of the matter is that doing your job is not just labor; it’s also a social experience. We all want to work with people we like, so likable people have a net advantage over others. With this in mind, I want to share with you, based on my coaching experience, 4 highly effective ways to increase your popularity at the office.

1. Don’t Be a Stranger

We have a strong inclination to like those people we know. In fact, if people you work with actually know things about you other than your name and where your desk is, half your job is done. This in itself will make you a lot more likable and increase your popularity.

Conversely, if your coworkers barely know anything about you, you feel like a stranger to them and there is little reason for them to be fond of you in any way. This is why you don’t want to be a stranger to others at work. You want them to know about you and feel comfortable with you.

You achieve this first and foremost by being social in the office. Say hello to people you work with when you arrive. Chat with others, ask them about themselves, get to know them and allow them to know you as well.

Don’t spend your breaks by yourself; spend them interacting with others. Be social with colleagues when you run into them in the lobby or the elevator. If you can, extend your interactions beyond work hours with colleagues you deeply enjoy interacting with. All of this will allow others to know you and thus like you more.

2. Remember Details about Others

One of the simplest and most effective ways to make others like you more in the workplace is to remember significant  information related to them.

For example: their wife’s name, or their dog’s name, or their birthday. These are details that you find out at some point when you chat with people, and when you do it’s a great idea to put a bit of extra effort into remembering them.

It will only require a bit of additional effort, but it will be very useful. When you can use that information in later conversations with the same person, you’ll make a unique and strong positive impression on them because you remembered it.

Chances are, they’ll like you a lot more just for that. Keep in mind: Wolfy’s name is probably not that important to you, but it’s very important to your colleague. Put yourself in other people’s shoes when relating to them.

3. Be a Positive Presence

All human beings have a strong inclination to be fond of people who are a positive presence, who seem happy and optimistic, because positive emotions are contagious. When we are near a person who radiates positive energy, it brightens up our day. I’m sure you’ve experienced this.

The idea here is not to pretend you’re happy and upbeat when you’re not. But rather, to take responsibility for your emotions and try to put yourself in a positive emotional state, especially when you’re around others. Your emotions affect not just you, but also them.

There are various ways to do this. You can start moving your body like a person who is feeling happy, deliberately adopting positive body language. You’ll notice this will actually make you feel better through a feedback mechanism.

You can think happy thoughts, you can recall positive experiences, or you can read a few jokes online. Brighten up your day and you’ll likely brighten up other people’s day as well. And they will love you for it.

4. Be Genuine With Others

I believe that most of us care too much about politics at work, and as a result we are too preoccupied with our popularity in the workplace.

This can often make us act in a fake way, just because we think we’ll convey what others expect to see in us. Paradoxically, what we typically manage to convey is simply that we are disingenuous.

People around you are not dumb. You may fool them a few times by pretending to be someone you’re not, but eventually they catch on and realize you’re putting on an act. And when they do, they will stop trusting you and liking you. Being fake is one of the biggest turn-offs possible.

This is why in my view, it’s better to be genuine in social interactions at work. Even if you will upset some people once in a while, the fact you are authentic will overall make your coworkers, clients and manager like you more and trust you a lot more.

It’s no coincidence that the people with the most popularity in an office are typically the most authentic ones. Follow their example, and you’ll see similar outcomes.

When you combine professional competence with personal likability, you can get very far at work. I’m pretty sure you invest a lot of time in sharpening your job-skills, but it’s equally important to sharpen your people skills. Apply the strategies discussed in this article, practice them daily, and you’ll see impressive results in no time.

Eduard Ezeanu teaches others how to be more talkative in social situations and how to talk to people of all kinds, to help them build a solid foundation of social skills for getting ahead in their career. We also writes on his two blogs, Art of Confidence and People Skills Decoded. 


  1. Michael Belk on the 22nd November

    Being liked is akin to favoritism. It is ok to be liked, but the problem arises when others make business and personal decisions based on those perceptions.

    At work we called it a “click”. If you did not hang with them on a regular basis, you got shunned.

    I have no problem with people liking others more than me, but my problem is when they deny me the same privilege they extended to their ‘friend”.

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