How To Be a More Likable Person in Conversation

I have Woo for one of my top five strengths so naturally I like being liked. There, I said it.
Part of that includes picking up on things over the years that have helped me be more likeable in conversation. This has helped from a relational standpoint and from a career standpoint, as you can imagine.

I’ll share with you in a second what those things are, but first, let me tell you a story.

I made a pretty big decision in 7th grade. I had always written my lowercase a’s like this:



My mom had always written her lowercase a’s the “times roman” way and so I thought it would be fun to write them like that. I spent the entire 7th grade teaching myself how to write my a’s like this:

It felt awkward at first, like I was tricking myself. Over time, though,  I started changing the way I wrote my lower a’s. To this day, this is now how I write my lowercase a’s.


So why do I tell that story? Because all these techniques I started practicing to help my conversations felt fake and awkward at first, but they’re now becoming natural and easy. So here we go!

Body Language

I heard somewhere that 70% of our communication is through our body language. I believe it. This includes:

  1. Mirror body language- If someone leans back, you lean back 2-3 seconds later. If they use a lot of hand gestures, you do the same. Mimicking body language is a subtle way to establish rapport.
  2. Mirror speed and tonality– If someone is talking super fast and excited, try to keep up. If someone is talking more slowly, do the same. Obviously, use good judgment and don’t make it obvious, but don’t talk 100mph if they’re at 20mph.
  3. Where your toes point is who you want to talk with– If you’re facing someone, but your feet are pointing a different direction, it means you’re not fully engaged and (even subconsciously) may not want to be talking with them. This is primarily for people standing up.

People don’t necessarily remember everything you say, but they will remember how you made them feel

It’s true, isn’t it?

Find ways to make them feel cared for, heard, respected, etc. This is most easily done through thoughtful listening and body language. (Surprisingly, not through talking a lot. Shocker!)

Make the conversation more about the other person

All people, myself included, have a tendency to talk about ourselves in conversation. It especially comes when we’re trying to relate, yet sometimes, people want to hear more about themselves. Example below:

Person 1: Ugh, my employee is not working out.
Person 2: I hear ya, I remember once when I had a bad employee. They would show up late, not work, and take long lunch breaks.
Person 1: Ummm…(did you just hear what I said?)

Instead, it might be more helpful to respond this way:

Person 1: Ugh, my employee is not working out.
Person 2: That must be frustrating!
Person 1: Yah! They show up late, forget to clock out, take long lunch breaks, etc.
Person 2: What are you going to do?
etc., etc…

Listen to understand, not respond.

Through the parenting book that I was reading this made it well aware that sometimes I rush to give advice when people just want a listening, reassuring ear.

As a talker myself, I tend to naturally dominate the conversation and it has taken a lot of self-control and mindfulness to shut up. Like, for reals.

There you have it. Although, I’m confident that there are some good things I’m missing so please enlighten me if you know of anything else that should make the list.

P.S. To this day, I still write my “a’s” like this.