It has long been my contention that everything is based on relationship.

Not only do we like to spend time with people we like; we also tend to prefer to do business with people we like.

Fortunately, we don’t have to have grown up as a totally likable person, as we all have the capacity to adopt any likable traits that might be missing from our repertoire.

Travis Bradberry, co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 has this to say about the subject:

Too many people succumb to the mistaken belief that being likable comes from natural, unteachable traits that belong only to a lucky few—the good looking, the fiercely social, and the incredibly talented. It’s easy to fall prey to this misconception.

In reality, being likable is under your control, and it’s a matter of emotional intelligence (EQ).

Among the thirteen traits that the author mentions, the two that most intrigue me are:

Trait #2: They put away their phones.

Trait #9: They greet people by name.

Since I remember a lot of faces and a lot of names, but don’t always put them together correctly, I am always thankful to attend events where the organizers provide what I call name tags for near-sighted people.

These are name tags with the first and last names on different lines and in a very large font, preferably at least 30 points or larger, the kind that you can spot from several feet away.

They make it easy to greet people by name without obviously having to look at a name tag with a 12 point font, surrounded by lots of absolutely useless white space.

The minimum font size recommended in the Americans with Disabilities Act is 18 points; but I still consider that too small.

My test for a name tag is that you can easily read it when you are sitting across from someone at a table for ten.

If you are curious about the other eleven likable traits that Bradberry mentions, you can check them out here.

Please join my campaign for requiring name tags for near-sighted people at any event you attend.