Do People Like You?

I was 16 years old.

And I was dreading the upcoming hockey season.

Not a usual situation for a Canadian teenager.

It was because of one particular guy, a loud-mouthed "tough" guy, who had a knack for making you fear him.

Playing on the same team as him in previous years had proved to be very distasteful. Plus, his mere presence in the dressing room had a way of zapping all of the fun out of any situation.

“Terence” played goal. He wasn’t bad. And because the other goalies trying out weren't that good, it was pretty much a sure thing that'd he'd be our starting goalie.

Then something great happened.

Our coach, sensing the damage to team chemistry that Terence was inflicting, cut him from the team.

During the year, we had our goaltending challenges, but we were cohesive as a team. And despite being a little weak in net, we had visions of winning the league championship.

Then the playoffs arrived. I still remember how deflated I felt when, thanks to some really weak goals let in by our goaltender, we were eliminated.

After our loss, it was impossible not to think about what would have happened had Terence been in net.

But the question was really not worth asking.

Because with Terence on the team, all of the fun would have been zapped out of hockey that year. And if you have a team filled with guys who are unhappy, chances are you're not going to go very far in the playoffs anyway.

Successful people know that everything they do in life depends on other people. Whether you're playing a sport or advancing in your freelance career – every goal, every milestone you reach, involves successful interaction with others. And it goes beyond “getting along” with others.

Take the 36th president of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ). He knew how to get people to like him. So much so that he developed ten extremely powerful rules I'd like to share with you today (courtesy of David J. Schwartz's book The Magic of Thinking Big).

Here are LBJ's 10 rules:

  1. Learn to remember names. This simple act of courtesy works wonders.
  2. Be a relaxed person so there is no stress in being around you. Be as comfortable as an old shoe.
  3. Be easygoing so that things do not ruffle you.
  4. Don't be egotistical. Guard against the impression that you know it all.
  5. Be interesting so people will get something of value from their association with you.
  6. Study to get the "scratchy" elements out of your personality, even those of which you may be unconscious.
  7. Sincerely attempt to heal, honestly, every misunderstanding you have had or now have. Let go of your grievances.
  8. Practice liking people until you learn to do so genuinely.
  9. Never miss an opportunity to say a word of congratulations upon anyone's achievements, or express sympathy in sorrow or disappointment.
  10. Give spiritual strength to people, and they will have genuine affection for you.

Using these 10 rules, Johnson was successful when it came to gaining the support of Congress. Under his presidency, The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and The Civil Rights Acts of 1965 and 1968 were passed. Plus, of course, he convinced the American people to elect him president.

And as a freelancer seeking new business, the same "likeability" rules apply. Do you have any successful guidelines for cementing good relationships with clients? Share with me by posting a comment below.

Just like politicians, it's important for businesses that their prospects like them. And as a writer, if you can help them with that goal, they'll pay you big dollars.

Social media is the perfect channel. If you're interested in helping companies raise awareness of their brand and convince their prospects and customers that they are likable, you'll want to invest in Nick Usborne's program, How to Make Money as a Social Media Expert.

Nick has written the definitive guide to using social media marketing to generate multiple streams of revenue for your clients and yourself as a consultant.

You also get access to Nick's recent five-part webinar series. He takes you through the steps to setting yourself up as a Social Media Consultant, shows you how to price your social media services, gives you tips and techniques on how to turn social media prospects into clients, and much more.

As for Terence, I have no idea where or what he is doing today. But I can say without reservation, I hope he never adds me as a Facebook friend.

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Everything you need to know to become a social media marketing expert, as well as four different ways to make money using that expertise. Learn More »

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Published: August 23, 2011

7 Responses to “Do People Like You?”

  1. John, Thanks for the article and reminders. My dad did very well in business and he taught me one basic rule: "Always assume the other guy (or gal) is on your side." Getting people to like you (and agree with you) is much easier if you enter any situation - even a contentious one - assuming that everyone is on the same side. Doesn't work 100% of the time, but you catch more bees with honey, right?

    Guest (Jane)

  2. You need to practice #7 in relation to Terrance. He could have changed by now and be a very likeable person.

    Guest (Valerie)

  3. John,

    I would add a few points:

    Listen - with both ears, eyes and your heart wide open. People love to share their story with someone who is truly interested.

    Accept - people where they are, meet them where they live, don't expect them to "travel" to you.

    You have already made an impact, I've seen LBJ's points posted on Face Book already.

    Thank you for writing a compelling story.


  4. Be on time and honor your commitments.
    This is unfortunately too rare in today's world...

    Guest (Bob)

  5. Hi,

    Ref: How to Make Money as a Social Media Expert.

    English is my second language, and German is the 3rd language, not fluent, I scarcely write or communicate in these languages, only I read something sometimes, therefore, how long will it take me to learn,and understand all of the first home study course and start earning some income to survive. The area where I'm living is German-speaking.
    You have four offers to start with. I would like to have your advice.

    Guest (Aref)

  6. I never felt LBJ was the best or most likeable president, but this is an example of the fact that understanding does not become "true" when looked at from afar.

    I really do like the ten rules LBJ listed and think that perhaps I missed a jewel of insight I might have to go back to and take a closer look.

    Thanks for sharing this insight with me!

    May the wind be always at your back, and the grass soft beneath your feet!

    Tom E. Milton

    Guest (TomE)

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