Google+ The Marketing Survivalist: Is It Important to be Liked?

Is It Important to be Liked?

There is no doubt in my mind that most marketers like to be liked. Our profession is all about getting prospects and customers to like our products and our companies. This need to be liked helps us put ourselves in their shoes and create messages that resonate with them.

But what happens when a marketer becomes a manager of marketers? Does this need to be liked get in the way of being an effective manager?

I was prompted to think along these lines after reading a post on the Linked2Leadership blog How to Lead Ugly People. Luckily, this post wasn’t about the unfair advantage attractive people have. The author redefined “ugly” to mean “offensive.” I think a less loaded description would be to call them “difficult” employees. You know the ones I’m talking about.

The writer claimed that you should manage all people as thought you want to date them. (Read the post of you don’t believe me.) If you find out what motivates them and get them to like you they will be easier to manage.

I think difficult people behave the way they do because that behavior has historically worked for them. They may have current issues that they are dealing with, but their style of dealing with these issues is something developed early on.

I’m not saying that people can’t change. But if your primary goal of management is to be liked, you run the risk of enabling the bad behavior. And, if those that are easy to like (and to be managed) see you bending over backwards for their challenging co-worker, resentment can build and affect those who are behaving well.

Most of the comments on the post agreed with the writer. Maybe we all want to be liked so much that we’re afraid to offer a different opinion. So far, I am the only one that I has a different opinion. Am I wrong?

All the best!

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  1. Anonymous09:09

    Hi Mellisa,

    I like your thinking! Your proactive approach to solving problems with offensive employees is right on.

    Never should a leader allow problematic behaviors to continue overtly or fester under the radar. A proactive approach is always the best.

    I do want to be clear as to what I meant about the dating idea in the article I wrote called "How to Lead Ugly People."

    My suggestion for the dating idea is simply a way to market yourself to others to make yourself more appealing. This helps others become better listeners.

    I am not suggesting that the reason to engage in the dating mindset is simply to be liked for the sake of self fulfillment.

    When it comes to the idea of thinking in terms of “dating” an employee, this is simply the first step in many in properly leading people to be successful on a team. I suggest this as a lens to view others. It is simply a mind frame that will help you be acceptable and welcomed by others. It is actually just a mental tool to help people be less focused on self and more focused on others.

    When we do this (like in dating), we are putting effort into putting our best foot forward. When correcting behaviors in others, the offender can tend to adopt a defensive position to justify their actions and resist changing.

    However, if they are approached by someone that was working to be attractive to them, common sense would dictate that they would be more likely to listen and learn.

    It is simply a subtle way of marketing one’s self toward others to smooth communications and lessen resistance.

    I hope you can see that my suggestion for dating was not to be liked as the final reason for doing this. It is simply the first of many things needed to be effective in the eyes of the follower.

    Thanks for engaging!

    ~Tom Schulte
    Executive Director | Linked 2 Leadership
    Atlanta, GA USA

  2. I agree with a point you made, that people's behavior has become habitual because that behavior has worked in the past. You're right, people CAN change but as that old saying goes, old habits die hard. It's not just online jobs/relations--people should be open to change if they want themselves, their jobs, and their lives to improve.


  3. Tom,

    Thanks for the clarification. An intriguing idea, to be sure!



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