Becoming a more likeable leader is completely under your control, and it's a matter of emotional intelligence (EQ). Unlike innate, fixed characteristics, such as your intelligence (IQ), EQ is a flexible skill that you can improve with effort.
What follows are 10 key behaviors that emotionally intelligent leaders engage in that make them so likeable.
1. They form personal connections
Even in a crowded room, likeable leaders make people feel like they're having a one-on-one conversation, as if they're the only person in the room that matters. And, for that moment, they are. Likeable leaders communicate on a very personal, emotional level. They never forget that there's a flesh-and-blood human being standing in front of them.
2. They're approachable
You know those people who only have time for you if you can do something for them? Likeable leaders truly believe that everyone, regardless of rank or ability, is worth their time and attention. They make everyone feel valuable because they believe that everyone is valuable.
3. They're humble
Few things kill likeability as quickly as arrogance. Likeable leaders don't act as though they're better than you because they don't think that they're better than you. Rather than being a source of prestige, they see their leadership position as bringing them additional accountability for serving those who follow them.
4. They're positive
Likeable leaders always maintain a positive outlook, and this shows in how they describe things. They don't have to give a presentation to the board of directors; they get to share their vision and ideas with the board. They don't have to go on a plant tour; they get to meet and visit with the people who make their company's products. They don't even have to diet; they get to experience the benefits of eating healthfully. Even in undeniably negative situations, likeable leaders emanate an enthusiastic hope for the future, a confidence that they can help make tomorrow better than today.
5. They're even-keeled
When it comes to their own accomplishments and failures, likeable leaders take things in stride. They don't toot their own horns, nor do they get rattled when they blow it. They savor success without letting it go to their heads, and they readily acknowledge failure without getting mired in it. They learn from both and move on.
6. They're generous
We've all worked for someone who constantly holds something back, whether it's knowledge or resources. They act as if they're afraid you'll outshine them if they give you access to everything you need to do your job. Likeable leaders are unfailingly generous with whom they know, what they know, and the resources they have access to. They want you to do well more than anything else because they understand that this is their job as a leader and because they're confident enough to never worry that your success might make them look bad. In fact, they believe that your success is their success.
7. They demonstrate integrity
Likeable leaders inspire trust and admiration through their actions, not just their words. Many leaders say that integrity is important to them, but likeable leaders walk their talk by demonstrating integrity every day. Even a leader who oozes charm won't be likeable if that charm isn't backed by a solid foundation of integrity.