How to be Liked & Build a Better Reputation

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Today I wanted to talk about being liked.

I’ve had some questions about reputation. Winning over people and then losing their trust. And I thought I would like to share some ideas on how you can build a better reputation for yourself, and possibly even restore and eliminate a bad reputation. As I’ve said before, this is difficult, but certainly not impossible. You can win people back and earn their trust once more.

Practicing Conversational Generosity

The first thing I wanted to talk about is straightforward. It’s something called conversational generosity. In other words, when you’re talking with others, letting them speak more. Make an effort to ask more questions. When you ask people open-ended questions about themselves, more often than not they love to answer them and talk about themselves.

But you also need to practice active listening and make sure you’re listening to what they’re saying so you can ask relevant follow-up questions.

And as you practice conversational generosity, you might find people saying things like, “wow, this was a really great conversation” even though you did very little talking at all. Or, “thank you for listening.” That’s how you know you’re putting this principle into practice.

Adding Value to People

The second thing is adding value to people. So often, people will send me an email, reach out to me about possible guest post opportunities, business opportunities, partnerships, and so on. And not all of them are necessarily going to be beneficial. Some of them are a good fit, some them are not.

But when people are reaching out, some are very good at it, and have me in mind when they reach out. Many others, however, do not think about the person on the receiving end. Sometimes their emails or messages aren’t even addressed to me. So, can I assume it’s not for me, or can I assume it’s a form letter? I think it’s a pretty safe bet it’s one of those.

Also, maybe the content of their message or email is all about themselves. It’s beneficial to them and the goals they want to achieve, but not beneficial to me in any way.

So, if you’re reaching out to people and trying to communicate with them, you have to keep those two things in mind. First, you must address it personally to them, make it to relevant them, and then you also have to think about what’s in it for them. And only then will you be able to begin to add value to them. And as you add value to those people, you’ll see your relationships get better and thrive.

Communication is the cornerstone to all relationships, and without good communication, that relationship will not grow and thrive.

Smile More Often

The next point is to smile more often, especially if you’re going to something like a networking event. Smiling at people, shaking their hands, and again, putting those other things into practice — conversational generosity, asking about them, where they’re from, what they do, and adding value to them if you can. Connect them to other people, or send them an article that’s relevant to their industry. Or, if you know about a cool resource online, maybe a YouTube video or a website that you’ve come across that they would find helpful, send it over to them. Smiling is huge. It projects a lot of confidence, and it also puts other people at ease.

Be Dependable & Reliable

Number four is to become more dependable and reliable. So, I would encourage you to show up to meetings on time. If you have a commitment, or you’ve promised your friend that you’re going to meet them at the movie theater at eight, show up on time. And, if possible, show up early. This gives people a positive impression about you that says you’re dependable. Taking responsibility for your commitments in life is key.

I’ve found that becoming a dependable person makes you more endorsable. Showing up on time and saying “yes” is a passing grade in school and in most jobs. If you want to excel, you need to go beyond just showing up on time and saying “yes” but it’s an excellent starting point. People want to know that you can be counted on, so don’t be flaky.

Avoid Arguments

Number five, this is very difficult — avoid arguments. You may disagree with many people, and their facts may be totally off, but resist the temptation to correct them in the moment. And don’t participate in arguments. Arguments, unfortunately, aren’t a win-win, they’re a lose-lose. It’s not good for either party.

So, if you have opposing views to what’s being said, keep it to yourself, and maybe dig deeper into why that person believes what they believe. Just ask questions like, “That’s interesting. That’s a very unique perspective. I’d love to learn more about it. So, why do you feel that way?” A question like that will tell you more about who that person is, what they represent, and what they believe. And that’s more beneficial to you than arguing, because you begin to understand them.

But it doesn’t mean that you’re going to have to work with them or collaborate with them in the future. You still must choose the right people to be in your life because you want supportive people and helpful people in your life, and to associate with them. I would encourage you also to treat everybody well.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Finally, I would encourage you to read the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People (affiliate link). And it sounds a little bit salesy, a little bit scammy almost, but it’s a great book. My friends in The Middle Coast band swear by it. I’ve read it two or three times and I highly recommend it also. It will teach you about how to improve all of your interactions and relationships.

Originally published at on March 21, 2017.

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