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Everyone likes to be liked, especially as a leader. You want people to trust you, look up to you, and enjoy your company. You want people to listen to you, share things with you, and ask for your opinion. But what’s the secret to being a likable leader who gets things done? According to Katie Wake, a presentation coach at Own The Room, a communication skills training company, we like people who are smart but humble. So, how can you accomplish this? The answer is simple... don’t pretend to have all of the answers when you don’t. Instead, ask your audience for help. You could be very talented and knowledgeable in one area, but relatively clueless in another. You can’t possibly know everything, but if you ACT like you do, people won’t take you seriously and/or start resenting your authority. Instead of acting like you know the answer when you really don’t, tap into those who CAN provide some solutions. Think about it: when you solve a problem, you feel good about it. You feel proud and accomplished. Solving problems is satisfying, and because it makes you feel good, you want to solve more problems. If you can tap into this need, everyone is happy. The problem gets solved, and your team or audience feels valued and successful. As a result, you’re more appreciated as a leader. “Give your audience something meaty to do,” said Wake. “and then you have them eating out of the palm of your hand.” Being a likable leader isn’t as hard as you might think. Successful leaders don’t act like they know everything when they don’t. Instead, they tap into the people around them for help. They include people in the problems they are trying to solve.

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Unless you’re Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Shirley Temple, or Tiger Woods, chances are you’re like the rest of us and weren’t born good at music, acting, or golfing. Womp womp. The truth is, as humans, there are a lot of things that don’t come naturally to us. For some, being confident is one of those things. So, how can you become more confident in yourself? For some people, confidence is hardwired into their system. It’s second nature. But for others (many others), it’s not that simple. They need to work at it, focus on it, and practice it. Becoming more confident is hard work, but it’s achievable. You just need to figure out your training plan.

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