Friendliness refers to the ability to put up a warm personality that makes you approachable, easy to relate with and without any hostility.
Aside being warm and devoid of hostility, a friendly person is someone who has a great level of respect for others. He is not snobbish but respects people’s feelings, ideas, and beliefs. Even if they do not respect them, they don’t make it obvious to them.
At times, to be friendly means putting up a pretense that you love or admire someone even if you don’t. This includes being able to show patience and care, as well as spending enough time with people.
Friendliness is more of a character than a skill. However, it can be learnt and improved upon as well.
Importance of friendliness
Just as having a friend comes with so many benefits, friendliness is a skill that is of great importance.
Supposing you just got employed and you are reporting to work for the first time, you will be a stranger to most of your colleagues and they will be strangers to you too. However, it is necessary you acclimatize to the working environment quickly and build relationships with them. Though you cannot go around talking to everybody, the others will be attracted to you by the friendliness they see you exhibit to the few colleagues you encounter.
Friendliness can be beneficial to you in the following ways:
- It’s easier to make workplace friends who can offer you support, especially when you are a new employee with comparatively lower working experience.
- Friendliness reduces the risk or probability of getting involved in fights and strife that can lead to suspensions and dismissals.
- During employee appraisals, you are likely to get a lot of 5star ratings and good testimonials from your colleagues because of your friendliness.
- Clients and customers love friendly professionals. They will become regular clients and recommend you to their friends. This means growth in your sales and customer base.
How to improve on friendliness
Even if you are not a naturally friendly person, you can become one by making a practice of these:
- Learn to exhibit a character of warmth. Warmth is a part of friendliness. People should think they can find a place of comfort in you. You can exhibit warmth by practicing good listening skills – pay attention to others and be patient to hear them out while they speak.
- Avoid being snobbish. Don’t ignore people blatantly. Sometimes there may be a genuine reason to ignore them for something more pressing or because they are a nuisance. However, you can spend a few seconds to communicate your necessity to leave them or postpone their discussion.
- Control your temper and be patient. No quick tempered person is considered a friendly person. In the heat of anger or frustration, you may make certain offensive statements that you wouldn’t have made in your right state of mind. If possible, decline from speaking at all.
- Cultivate the habit of smiling. Try to smile often and avoid frowning or putting up a stern face. Since there’s the notion that people who smile are friendly, smiling makes you approachable.
- Learn to initiate conversations. Certain people, for the fear of rejection, may never approach you for a chat. Learn to be the first to say hello and make greetings a norm. You never know who may want to take the conversation beyond a mere exchange of greetings.
- Stress management. Naturally, excessive stress and frustration makes you intolerant and impatient. When you are frustrated or depressed, you can easily yell at people or accuse them. Learn to exercise stress management techniques such as resting, enjoying some leisure and recreational activities etc.