Likability is a difficult thing to quantify. Are people born with a natural quality that makes them affable, or is it something that can be taught and practiced? According to Andrew Thomas, founder of the Skybell Video Doorbell, there are specific traits that people can adopt in order to be more likable.
Thomas writes that growing up, he wasn’t particularly likable but admired those who were. “It hit me that our greatest gift is the way we make people feel,” he says. “I wanted to learn the secrets of their success.” So he set out to find and practice the characteristics that make people likable.
What he noticed was that most of the traits are about making other people feel good. Thomas writes that likable people do things like follow up, remember your name, and maintain good eye contact when speaking to you, all of which are traits that shift the importance on the other person.
To actually adopt these characteristics—and make them stick—Thomas suggests focusing on a couple of them at a time. Instead of implementing all 39 at once, start small. Encouraging others and remembering people’s names seem like good places to start. Once you’ve mastered some of those basic habits, try picking up things that may seem a little out of character or require more effort. Thomas explains that sending people thank-you notes is a good way to endear yourself to others.
Just remember that changes like these don’t happen overnight. Acquiring these traits and making them a part of your daily existence takes time, but trust us, the end result will be well worth it.
Check out more of Thomas’s tips at Inc.com.
What you think makes someone likable? For more tips, read The Likability Factor.
This post was originally published on August 14, 2016, and has been updated by Sacha Strebe.