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How Ben Affleck Turned Around His Career

There’s a new movie about the Iran Hostage Crisis coming out on Friday.

It’s called “Argo” and is directed by Ben Affleck.  Ben has resurrected his career.  If you recall, he was a mainstay of the tabloids several years ago.  Now he is being touted as a serious director who makes serious movies.  Argo is an example of this type of film.

An article in a recent Time Magazine made an interesting point about the film industry…

“The film industry, like most other businesses, is a small group of people who all know one another and everyone tries to work with the likable person.  Likable people’s bosses let them do the things they don’t let other people do.  When likable people stumble, others help them.  Likable people call this kindness. Unlikable people call it office politics.”

According to the article, Ben Affleck is a likable guy, so when he turned his attention to directing, people were willing to help him.  That’s how Argo got made.

There is some great career advice here.

Likability is important, not just in the film industry, but in any industry and any company.  I offer some advice on how to improve your likability in Tweet 137 in my career success book Success Tweets: 140 Pieces of Common Sense Career Advice; All in 140 Characters or Less says, “Do your job; give credit to others for doing theirs. Everyone likes to work with people who share the credit for a job well done.”

Here are seven tips for becoming likable at work.

They are the starting point for effective work relationships.  Follow these tips and you’ll become a likable person, and climb the corporate ladder faster.

  1. Suggest solutions to the problems you identify.  Identifying problems is easy.  People who provide thoughtful solutions to the problems and challenges they raise earn the respect and admiration of their coworkers and bosses.
  2. Don’t play the blame game.  You alienate everyone around you.  But when you get known as someone who publicly blames others you create enemies who will help you fail.  Likable people create people create allies by taking their share of the blame when things go wrong.
  3. Respect the people around you.  What you say and do matters.  When you talk down to others, use sarcasm, or take a nasty tone, you’re not treating others with the respect they deserve as fellow human beings.  One of my corporate clients has a value of “no jerks.”  And they’re right.  It’s never appropriate to raise your voice to a colleague or coworker or engage in any other kind of jerk-like behavior.
  4. Never blind side people.  Likable people keep their colleagues in the loop.  They discuss problems with them before discussing them with others.  They don’t ambush others.  They build alliances by making sure that their colleagues know what they need to do to do their jobs effectively.
  5. Keep your commitments.  When you don’t meet deadlines and commitments, you negatively affect the work of other people.  Always keep commitments, and if you can’t, make sure the affected people know as soon as you can.  Give them a new due date and then honor the new deadline.
  6. Share credit for accomplishments, ideas, and contributions.  It’s very rare that you can accomplish anything with no help from others.  Likable people take the time to thank and recognize the people who help you succeed.  This is a no-fail approach to building effective work relationships and brands you as a likable person.
  7. Help the people around you find their greatness.  We all have a set of talents, skills, and experience.  When you help people harness their best abilities, you become known as a likable person.  Compliment, recognize, praise, and notice contributions.  You don’t have to be a manager to help create a positive, motivating environment.

If you follow these seven tips – especially number 6, “Share credit for accomplishments, ideas and contributions,” you will become known as a likable person.  You’ll develop effective work relationships.  You’ll become interpersonally competent.  Colleagues will value you. You’ll accomplish your work goals, have some fun, and get recognized as a team player.

The common sense career advice point here is simple.

Successful people are likable.

Like Ben Affleck, they follow the career advice in Tweet 137 in Success Tweets.  “Do your job; give credit to others for doing theirs.  Everyone likes to work with people who share the credit for a job well done.”

That’s my career advice prompted by an article I read about Benn Affleck.  What do you think? Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  And, as always, thanks for reading my musing on life and career success.

If you want to learn more about how to climb the corporate ladder faster check out the free rebroadcast of a webinar I did recently.  You can find it here.

Bud Bilanich, Ed. D. is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.