Even if you don’t follow entertainment news, chances are you’ve heard about comedian Katt Williams’ tirade against fellow comedian Tiffany Haddish, questioning the meteoric rise of the Girls Trip star over more tenured black women comedians. He’s not the first to be critical of the recent Emmy Award-winning Haddish. Others have argued that she reinforces negative stereotypes or that she simply isn’t funny.
What is it about Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart and Lil Rel Howery – all dissed by Katt Williams – that allows them to tap into levels of success alluding their arguably funnier predecessors? All three are high rolling in the currency of likability.
What is likability?
For starters, it’s not about intentionally competing in a popularity contest. It’s about genuinely being the type of
person that others want to be around. Even if you consider yourself an introvert, humans are hard-wired to be relational. People who rank high in likability often possess the ability to break down barriers and authentically connect. We want them on our teams. We preferentially patronize their businesses. They’re top of mind when it comes to new opportunities or referrals – even over people who may be more qualified.
If you read other articles on improving your likability, you’ll often see a focus on tactics like remembering names and smiling, but likability runs deeper than this. It gets to the root of your character and the way you express it in the company of others.
In my experience teaching workshops on personal branding for corporations and professional organizations for more than a decade, here’s a common attitude I see among people low in likability: “I don’t go to work to make friends.”
That may be true, but the wall you’ve constructed between you and your colleagues may also be the barrier between you and the opportunities you’ve been after. Does that mean you have to go to Happy Hour with your co-workers? No, but it does mean being willing to demonstrate and embrace the characteristics that make us human – not just worker bots. Because likability is currency, the more you have, the more doors you’ll find opening for you.
Mentioned in the show: Platform for Purpose Incubator
How to be more likable
Here are five practical principles that can help you to build more likability currency, even if you don’t consider yourself outgoing or charismatic:
- Be Open
Many of us feel connected to Tiffany Haddish because there’s something in her story that we relate to. I get that you don’t want your co-workers “in your business” but sharing something fun that happened over the weekend or talking about last night’s game is a far cry from sharing intimate details of your marriage. Make an effort to find common interests with colleagues that you interact with on a regular basis.
- Be Interested
When engaged in conversation, are you listening to what others are saying or simply waiting for your turn to speak? Practicing active listening and asking questions helps people to feel heard, which fosters respect.
- Be Excited
This is where Katt Williams gets a big, fat “F”. Do you have the capacity to celebrate others when they’re winning, or are you critical and envious? The success of others doesn’t mean that future opportunities aren’t available to you. Instead of fighting over the same piece of pie, what if we work to make the pie bigger? Operate from a mindset of abundance, not scarcity.
- Be Helpful
We live is a self-centered society where the value of relationships is too often measured by what you stand to gain. Instead, look for opportunities to bring value to others, even if you perceive yourself as the small fish in the interaction.
- Be Consistent
Although Katt Williams is a successful comedian, his challenges with substance abuse and run-ins with the law may have cost him and those in his camp opportunities granted to peers who could be considered less talented. Even if you’re well-liked, being perceived as flaky or unreliable is a significant liability. If you’re a people pleaser, saying no may be difficult, but it’s more beneficial to your relationship in the long run. It’s better to say no than to say yes and fail to deliver.
Likability isn’t about being the funniest or most intriguing person in the room. It’s about genuinely caring about people – and acting in a way that demonstrates it at every opportunity.
What tips would you add to the list? Leave a comment below.
Tired of being the underdog?
Get off the ropes and win being you!
In this motivational personal strategy guide, Life and Business Coach Isha Cogborn will show you how to:
- Create an aggressive, yet realistic plan to fulfill your purpose and leave your mark on the world.
- Use your talents, abilities, passions and experiences to have more fun and make a bigger impact in your career, business and even volunteer efforts.
- Defeat a lack of confidence, fear and bad habits standing between you and your success.