When comparing different types of leaders, it is clear that often times people respond better to individuals that treat them with respect and kindness, rather than leading with an iron fist. The saying that you can “attract more honey with bees than vinegar” is a concept that is relevant anywhere in many facets in life, and especially within the realm of the workplace. Dr. Travis Bradberry, author of the bestselling book “Emotional Intelligence 2.0”, explores a range of habits that effective leaders use by engaging best practices that focus on emotional and social awareness.


1. The Power of Personal Connections

Even if it may seem implied, likable leaders have the tendency to communicate with people in way that makes the other person feel as if he/she is the only one in the room. When leaders make an effort to engage with his/her employee by treating said person like another person rather than a subordinate, it can leave the conversation on a positive note.

2. Humbleness is Key

Noticing arrogance in anyone is an uncomfortable experience, especially if that person is someone you report to. With this in mind, leaders are more well-liked when they don’t brag about their accomplishments in conversation or remind you constantly of the fact they’re super successful. Sometimes when a leader is arrogant it can create an emotional environment where he/she is deemed not only unapproachable, but also unlikable due to subtle verbal cues that the other person can clearly pick up on.

3. Positivity

How you say things can truly affect people and the working relationship that you both share. It never hurt for a personable leader to give a few words of encouragement or nicely phrase ways an employee can improve a certain skill set without being negative or hurtful. By simply phrasing a certain failure or mishap as a hopeful opportunity for improvement or a learning experience, employees can therefore view situations like these from a different perspective.

4. Noticing Potential

Understanding and appreciating employees who demonstrate certain skills or have a strong work ethic is essential when becoming an effective, personable leader. When a leader notices qualities in an employee and makes an effort to improve those skills by nurturing them for the betterment of the company, basically everyone wins.

5. Reading people

Personable leaders usually pick up on linguistic cues such as tone, facial expression and body language to truly understand how/why their employees are feeling about different situations. In this sense, they use high social awareness to essentially put themselves in their employees shoes.