Ever notice how successful food & beverage professionals often have that certain extra “something” – a quality that makes them more confident and influential?

Whether you call it “charisma,” “je ne sais quoi,” or “magnetism,” this quality directly affects how likable a professional is.

While it’s true that you don’t have to be liked to get your job done, it can make things a whole lot easier. Being viewed positively in the workplace often goes hand-in-hand with being respected, being successful, being promoted and earning more money.

So how’s your sense of humor? Your body language? Your attitude? Do you draw others to you, so that they genuinely like you? Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself these questions:

Are you passionate about your career?  People who are engaged in their work are more interesting and naturally magnetic – but are you one of them? Or, are you the type of person who keeps looking for that dream job you can finally be passionate about? If that’s the case, you may be looking at things the wrong way.

Most every job has something about it that is redeeming and can ignite passion – the trick is to find it. Instead of believing the grass is greener at another company, search for those aspects of your role that make you proud, give you a sense of accomplishment and draw on your strengths. The truth is, your job doesn’t make you passionate – you bring passion to your job.

Do you strike the “power pose?”  Likeable people don’t get hung-up on the “you must come to me” power move. So if you typically force others to come to you, try putting aside your sense of self-importance or status. The next time you meet someone, relax, take a step forward and smile when you shake hands. Show that you’re genuinely happy to meet him and you’ll make an even more favorable first impression.

Do you have a positive attitude – even when things go wrong?  It’s easy to be likeable when things are going your way. But how do you react when conflicts or other problems arise? When you start suffering from negative thinking, stop it in its tracks by focusing on a recent success you’ve had in the workplace. Draw on that little jolt of positive energy to get out of your rut and move on.  If you can maintain an optimistic outlook and focus on solutions when things go wrong, people will be drawn to you.

Which do you do more – listen or talk? Show others that they’re important by asking questions, giving your full attention and responding non-verbally (e.g., nodding, smiling, frowning, maintaining eye contact). When you do speak, limit unsolicited advice and make sure you have something important to say – something that matters to the other person, that is.

How is your sense of humor?  We all love to laugh. In business, however, it’s amazing how serious people are. Obviously, humor is not always appropriate in the workplace – but even “old school” corporate environments need an occasional dose of levity (provided it’s in good taste).

Those who laugh easily, and can even laugh at themselves, are infinitely more likeable than the proverbial grouch. So make sure you take the time to smile, laugh and spread a little good cheer around the office.

Do you focus on the WIIFM?  In business, it’s natural to try and get what you want. Still, you won’t be well liked if you’re the hard-charging, goal-oriented kind of person who is always angling for something. When you interact with others, strike a balance. Focus on how you can help fellow employees – not just on how they can help you.

To a large measure, your likeability will influence your success or failure in the food & beverage industry. Characteristics like a positive attitude, the ability to laugh, great listening skills, passion for one’s work and humility will go a long way in making you a more charismatic and magnetic person. So if you fall short in one of these areas, practice these tips from Kinsa Group. You’ll like the results!

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