Likeable leaders have certain qualities that make them higher performers compared with people who don’t possess similar attributes. Being likeable is a trait that professionals can learn. It demonstrates emotional intelligence, which is essential for building trust and a collaborative culture. Likeability supports effective leadership and teamwork in a variety of dynamic organizations.

Students in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program have many opportunities to develop their likeability traits. For instance, courses in the online MBA programs offered by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) provide real-world learning experiences that help students understand the integration of business functions in complex organizations, diverse cultural settings and the global marketplace. Through these in-depth learning experiences, students also obtain the more people-focused skills employers look for that boost professional confidence, competency and capacity for authentic leadership — all of which are critical to fostering likeability.

Build Likeability Through an Online MBA

Likeability is a somewhat intangible concept, and focusing on likeability to the point of distraction from shared goals can be a detriment to a team’s performance. Yet there are concrete steps leaders can take to become more likeable in ways that support the success of an organization and its people. The following are five actions that can help improve a professional’s likeability in leadership roles:

  1. Maintain a Positive Attitude

Keeping a positive outlook, despite negative situations, is a critical leadership habit. Likeable leaders can take a positive approach to how they frame responsibilities, tasks or challenges. For example, rather than having to make a presentation, a leader with a positive mindset might consider that they have the opportunity to share their goals with their audience. They get to connect with employees who contribute to their company’s success rather than feeling obligated to do meet with subordinates. They see challenges, crises and disruptions as opportunities for growth and positive change. Likeable leaders demonstrate an uplifting perspective, even when facing tough circumstances.

  1. Be Generous

At one point or another, most people have the experience of working with leaders who hold back resources that could be helpful and useful for doing a job well. It’s a tough spot to be in. Likeable leaders, however, strive to be generous with sharing connections and information. Their internal compass is built on generosity, and they want employees to succeed. After all, employee success reflects well on their leader.

  1. Ask Questions

Another leadership habit is to ask questions — lots of them. By asking clarifying questions, people realize that leaders are actively listening and care about what employees say and think. This is an essential component of good communication, and effective communication is critical for successful leadership. Too often, people focus only on what they are going to say and fail to really listen to others. Leaders gain respect, admiration and trust by asking good questions.

  1. Have a Genuine, Reliable Demeanor

Phony or fake people are not fun to be around. If employees don’t know who a leader really is and what that leader truly values, it will be difficult to build authentic, emotionally intelligent relationships. When a leader is even-keeled, genuine and reliable, people will like them even more.

  1. Make Integrity a Priority

Integrity is another critical leadership trait for likeable leaders. Do a leader’s actions inspire trust and admiration? Does that leader demonstrate that integrity matters? Even the most charming people won’t be well liked if they don’t make ethical decisions, keep their promises and back up what they say with sincere actions.

These are just a few of the habits and traits of likeable leaders, and professionals can cultivate many of these attributes through both work experience and MBA programs like TAMU-CC’s that focus on authentic leadership development. Developing likeability is a goal of many aspiring business leaders, and it can help them be more successful throughout their careers.

Learn more about TAMU-CC’s online MBA programs.