Free Ebook.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« Help a Reader: Retirement Tipping Point | Main | How Much to Save Per Day to Retire in 30 Years »

May 14, 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I would tweak your simple advice to be:

Treat people how THEY want to be treated.

As an INTJ I appreciate people who are bluntly honest with me and can back it up with examples. But if I treat others that way, it can often come across as insensitive. There's a lot to be said for taking the time to read a person and figure out how they communicate.

Veronica --

That's a good thought.

The general idea is to treat everyone with kindness, respect, and thoughtfulness. If you do those things, you'll do well IMO.

I don't know if that's enough. If you're introvert, you'll need to make extra effort to talk more when you're on conference call/video. It's so much easier to just sit back and fade into the background when the meeting is online. I agree that likability is key to advancement.

Having retired in 1992 I had never come across the term "INTJ" so I had to Google it to find out that it stands for:

I would question that being "introverted" is ever an asset. At least it wouldn't have been in a department of over 100 male structural engineers. I remember the days when we hired our first few women engineers and we were all sent to classes to learn how to treat them with respect. My company was very selective in those days and almost all the women engineers that were hired came from the best universities for engineers as well as having good looks and outgoing personalities.

Old Limey - I'm an extrovert but I can see the value in introversion from the standpoint of those who are swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath (good advice already offered over 2000 years ago James 1:19)

On the general topic of likeability I have to say that there's a lot to be said about this subjective quality. I don't think I would be where I am today in business if people didn't like me. I'm not smarter than anyone I work with and frankly I don't always work as hard as everyone else but I always try to treat others with kindness, respect and thoughtfulness. It's qualities that I probably picked up most from my dad. When I was a teenager I wondered how he'd been successful at work. He seemed like a pushover to me and I thought everyone must walk all over him. I learned differently when I worked at his office one summer. He was respected and revered because of how he treated others. No one seemed to take advantage of him; on the contrary they seemed to want to please him. This was all verified for me when he retired a few years ago after 50+ years of service with the company. The outpouring of praise for him was awesome.

I also think these are qualities I came to learn by going to church (it takes a village..). It's a topic I've been thinking about writing about - how being a church goer helped me in business.

@Servant Leader
I enjoyed reading your posting. We have many similar attributes. I also learned a lot from my Dad and also from my grandparents. Growing up in England my parents dutifully sent me off to Sunday school every week and I found it a great place to meet girls. My parents always considered themselves to be Christians but primarily only went to church for baptisms, weddings, and funerals. I was quite active in church in my early life, taught Sunday school, then Bible school, and of course my wife and I were married in an ancient parish church, parts of which date back to 1100 AD. We have travelled extensively and visited religious sites of almost every faith. My wife and I now consider ourselves to be atheists but we very much like many of the beliefs of Buddhism, which is strictly not a religion as we know it in the Western world. The religious leader we most admire is the Dalai Lama.

I feel that I am neither an extrovert or an introvert but at work I did my best to get along with everyone even though I worked primarily by myself leading a small multi-discipline team on projects where I reported directly to the Chief Scientist.

Just wanted to mention that this was a bit of misinterpretation of "introvertedness" as used in the Myers-Briggs indicator. It's not about being quiet/shy vs outgoing/likeable. It's actually about where your energy comes from. Do you need some alone time to re-energize, or do you get energized by being among people. See here for a bit more technical explanation if you are interested

I am ISTJ and a pretty talkative introvert, my job involves coordinating a large group of senior people globally and I am very effective at it. We also throw parties at home regularly and I have friends over every weekend. This said, I do need alone time to recharge my batteries. I also know a few very quiet extroverts.

I think likeability is more related to whether you are genuinely interested in the people around you, getting to know them, remembering what is important for them in work or personal context, listening more than talking, etc. If this doesn't come naturally to you, but you learn to do it by practicing (fake it till you make it) I do believe this is highly correlated to success.

@Ivy, your point that "...likeability is more related to whether you are genuinely interested in the people around you, getting to know them, remembering what is important for them in work or personal context, listening more than talking, etc." is so well stated.

If I may add to the original and excellent topic, avoiding being UNlikable is just as important. Behavior like bullying, irresponsibility, poor quality of work, displays of temper, flakiness, and bad moods will mark you. It doesn't matter the reason or excuse, all those things are just as offensive to others as bad breath, body odor, etc. You wouldn't go to work without taking a shower or brushing your teeth, so doing your best not to walk into work with a sullen or sharp attitude is worth making the effort. And once someone has determined that they do not like you, I have never seen that opinion change.

People that do not like you will go out of their way to help you fail, and they will advertise your failure, even at their own expense or the expense of the project and company.

Yes, likability is important. But so is being willing not to be liked. And sometimes when you challenge the status quo or the accepted way of doing things, you won't be liked, though you'll probably be respected. Saying what you think--even if it's not a popular opinion--claiming authority, asking for a raise -- those can sometimes mean you risk NOT being liked.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Start a Blog


  • Any information shared on Free Money Finance does not constitute financial advice. The Website is intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. You are advised to discuss your specific requirements with an independent financial adviser. Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. All posts are © 2005-2012, Free Money Finance.