Tennis Industry magazine


How 'Likeability' Can Affect Your Bottom Line

By Dr. Robert F. Heller

Whether you are a tennis teaching pro, general manager, owner of a retail store, or an employee who interfaces with customers, being “likeable” is a key factor in the success of your business. In terms of customer satisfaction, employee loyalty, and productivity, as a friend of mine expressed to me, “relationships are the currency of life.”

Likeability, of course, is important when it comes to recruiting and retaining good employees. Consultant Jim McCarty lists these characteristics of a “likeable” person:

While some of these characteristics, like sense of humor and being fun, may be more ingrained into one’s personality, others, like being a good listener, complimenting others, and smiling, are behaviors that can be trained and improved upon.

Owners and managers who demonstrate these characteristics create an atmosphere where employees like to work and customers like to shop. According to Tim Saunders, author of The Likeability Factor: “Today success is as much about quality of life as it is about the quantity of material objects.” Employees are more likely to be happier, more productive, and stay in their jobs longer when they “like” their manager, supervisor, or boss.

Where I live, there are a great many Asian restaurants. The quality of the food, menu choices, and prices are pretty much the same. However, in one restaurant, we are greeted with smiles and “welcomes” not just by the hostess, but also by the sushi chefs and bartenders. When we leave, they smile, ask if everything was all right, and say, “Thank you for coming.” Guess where we go most of the time? Guess what restaurant we recommend to our friends?

Whether you are an employee or a customer, being shown warmth, respect, understanding, and a sense that the other person cares about you is vital to interpersonal effectiveness. When I work with corporate and business clients, I’ve noticed that next to managing their own stress, developing interpersonal effectiveness is the main goal they would like to learn or improve upon.

While every situation and person’s needs are different, here are some general strategies you may find useful in evaluating and improving your own likeability factor:

Remember, likeability is made up of a number of characteristic behaviors, many of which can be learned and improved upon. If you want to be more successful in business and in life, invest in developing your likeability factor. It will pay off in more ways than one.

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About the Author

Dr. Robert F. Heller  is a psychologist and consultant in the areas of performance enhancement and stress management. He is the author of Mental Skills for Match Play and Mental Toughness. For information on telephone consultation, products, and other services, contact,, or 561-451-2731. He is based in Boca Raton, Fla.



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