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Article: Likeable Bosses Related Resources

Likeable Bosses
by Sherry L. Read

"Survey suggests bosses not as likable as they think they are" Shanghai Daily, 24 April 2007

A recent survey by in China found that almost 60% of employees identified their supervisors as "order-issuing lovers" and another 18% referred to their bosses as "critics". In contrast, more than 82% of leaders considered themselves good leaders and friendly to their subordinates.

The article suggests these contrasting perspectives are most pronounced in China with its traditional authoritarian culture and lack of flexibility in leadership styles. While that may be true, perhaps the statement "It's not easy for people to find problems with themselves" is universal.

Do bosses need to be liked? People respond to authority, particularly in a place like China; that is, until the next opportunity presents itself. Western conventional wisdom suggests that it is important to build trust, credibility and respect; there is no need to be liked. When those characteristics are combined with strong leadership, people will long as they are realizing benefits for themselves. The question then becomes if we can combine trust, credibility, respect, leadership and likeability, can we drive even greater results?

Tim Sanders in "The Likeability Factor" defines likeability as your capacity to produce positive attitudes in other people about you. This usually create positive emotions in others. He argues that people are constantly making choices - whether to listen to you, whether to believe you and whether to value what you offer. Likeability affects all of these.

He breaks down likeability into four elements.

  1. Friendliness
  2. Relevance
  3. Empathy
  4. Realness or authenticity
If you are curious about your likeability factor, take the self-assessment at and give some thought to the one change you could make in your behavior that will increase your likeability.

What could you do today to improve your likeability?

Just as professional athletes engage coaches to hone their game, professional leaders engage coaches to hone theirs. Sherry L. Read coaches successful professionals who seek greater achievement in their work and life. To schedule a complimentary coaching session to enhance your results, contact her at or visit us at to sign up for our newsletter and learn more about coaching for people like you.

Sherry L. Read may be contacted at or


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