Why Not-Liking is Easy
In 1977 Wally Palmar, Mike Skill, Rich Cole, and Jimmy Marinos formed the Romantics.
The Romantics weren’t as successful as other bands of the 70’s like KISS, AC/DC, Queen, or the Eagles. But their 1980 debut album had a song on it you might recognize. “What I Like About You.” It reached #49 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Like the people you work with, even the ones hard to like.
What I DON’T Like About You:
Not-liking is easy.
Your brain responds to negative stimuli with greater intensity than positive. (Psychology Today) Complaints, failures, and faults light you up. This is one reason political campaigns end up throwing mud.
It’s easier to get people to not-like your opponent than it is to get them to like you.
Not-liking inspires action.
Habitual criticism is one way to prove superiority.
Instead of lifting others, habitual critics lift themselves by putting others down. Successful leaders habitually lift teams.
Not-liking is easy because, “We tend to see people who say negative things as smarter than those who are positive.” (Praise is Fleeting but Brickbats we Recall)
Critics are saying, “I’m better than you.”
What I like about you:
Liking is a matter of focus.
Everyone has weaknesses, some of them irritating. But everyone also has strengths and gifts. You choose your points of focus.
Don’t ignore weaknesses and frailties in others, just don’t pursue them like a hog after slop. Because bad is stronger than good, you need to train yourself to notice good.
#1. Use the word “like” more frequently. Words are rudders.
#2. Schedule WHAT-I-LIKE-ABOUT-YOU walkabouts once a day for a week. Use sentences like:
- One thing I like about you is … .
- I really like it when you … .
- I like working with you because … .
We all want to work with people that we know, LIKE, and trust.
How might leaders practice liking?
How might leaders move from not-liking to liking their team?
Find the Number One, in Everyone
Thanks Robert. That’s poetic. Finding the #2 is natural.
One thing I like about you is that your blog posts give us a new angle to think about on various management/leadership topics.
Hey Paul. Thanks for a word of encouragement. Have a great week.
We all want to work with people that we know, like and trust… #Humility I concor with that ’cause it’s an odd pattern of expressing our emotions inorder to zip up positively in our everyday endeavors. Frankly, I don’t use the word ‘like’ in my sentences of encouragement to my team but will give it a try… THANKS DAN!
Thanks Godwin. What I’m learning is “I” statements are one way to overcome another person’s inner critic. If you say “YOU” their inner critic can discount it. “You’re great at…” can become in their head, “NO I’M Not.”
But if you say… I like this about what you’re doing…. it’s harder for their inner critic to discount it, especially if they respect you.
Thanks, Dan. I really LIKE this. And I agree that those sarcastic people on the team do sound superior.
Thanks Donna. It’s great to receive a LIKE… and this isn’t even Facebook. Have a great week.
“Words are rudders”. Love that statement. This is a fantastic way to start my Monday morning. I will be doing an “I like” walk about today. Thanks Dan!
Thanks Created…. I wish we all had a firmer grasp on the power of our words. If we believed our words had power we might spend more time paying attention to the things we say.
I hear you. As the father of 7 kids (ages 7-18) and the principal of an elementary school with 150 kids, 30 staff members, parents, district leadership, I quickly learned that what I say has a large sphere of unintended influence. I am far from perfect, and still get to taste my foot from time to time, but I am definitely more conscious of what I say.
My hats off to you!!!
Easier said than done on the “like” of all. Over the years I’ve tried hard to “like” the unlikeable in different jobs. Luckily I’ve only found a few that just are not likeable and I have had to write them off. Its just sometimes you can only do so much to make someone likeable when they are just not, a cancer in some cases just needs to be gotten rid of in any way possible. Yes counter to the guidance above but there are some who just are too unlikeable and all actions to change either ones approach or them or the environment does not work.
Thanks Roger. You are exactly right. There are some you should NOT like, habitual backstabbers, for example. Do your best and then move on.
The real rub happens when you have to work with someone you don’t like.
For some reason, you got me thinking about the challenge of declaring what we want. Sometimes we don’t like people because they aren’t doing something we want them to do. Perhaps this in an opportunity to be sure we have clearly shared expectations.
But, as you say, there are a few that just aren’t going to fit in our LIKE BUCKET. Cheers
What I LIKE about you, Dan, is that you use only a small amount words each day but they are incredibly impactful words that lead me to thinking differently about how I interact with others people. I hope you and all your readers have the most joyous day.
Thanks Lucille. Back at you… here’s to igniting and fueling positive energy in ourselves and others.
This was a timely post. I was sitting in a meeting this morning and wrote across the top of my paper, “Why do I detest to hear from this guy?” It is a regular meeting that I am a part of, and while this individual was not even critical of something me or my team was responsible for, I really hated to her this person even speak.
You answered my question for me.
What I like about you Dan, is your creative ability to give insightful feedback in a skilful way that helps people to look inward and take transformative action.