Your "Like Factor" plays a bigger role than you think

The following aspects make up what you use when managing people:

  • Training received;
  • Experience;
  • Blueprint from parents;
  • Role models and mentors learned from;
  • Religion

An aspect that need consideration but are not always as visible as the others, is your “Like Factor”.

We are social beings and we want to fit in, belong to a group and be liked by people. 


Concept:  How badly do I want people to like me?


The challenge in managing people, is that rarely without exception, people are willing to manipulate to get what they want or think they need.

Test of your like factor with this example:

You have spent 3 months evaluating the new colour scheme to be used for the head offices. Industrial psychologists universally recommend pale blue. On the day before you are due to report to the board, the chairman mentions to you that his wife has a psychic consultant who assured her that coral pink is the colour of success. 

Do you?

A - Go ahead and report the psychologists` recommendation of blue, ignoring coral pink?

B - Add a new section discussing the merits of coral pink as a `New Age` alternative?

C - Come down in favour of coral pink, stressing the chairman`s partiality to this option?


Don`t read this before you decided on the scenario above.

If you chose C, you probably have a High Like Factor.

If you chose B, you probably have a Medium Like Factor.

If you choose A, you probably have a Low Like Factor.


Another scenario: Your employees are becoming disgruntled at being asked to put in extra time more often as times get tougher. The Board has settled on a new initiative aimed at moving the company back to the top, but it’s will require your team to work late even more often in the coming months.  This is not a sales department.

Do you?

A - Organise a teambuilding weekend and tell them what`s coming once everyone has bonded?

B - Devise an incentive scheme whereby the most successful three staff members will get an all-expenses paid weekend in Paris?

C - Get them into your office and tell them they’re going to have to redouble their efforts?


If you chose B, you probably have a High Like Factor as you need to use a “carrot” in order for employees to work harder.  Employees already know some will ignore the request while the usual loyal eager employees do most of the work.

If you chose A, you probably have a Medium Like Factor.  You want people to bond first or get them in a relaxed environment before you give them the bad news.

If you choose C, you probably have a Low Like Factor.  Hopefully you did explained the situation to the employees first!

These following steps are the ideal if you chose option C:

Step 1:  Explain the problem

Step 2: Allow them to discuss the consequences of the problem and how it will affect them (feel the pain).

Step 3: Tel them you are in exactly the same situation. Their first thought will be but it is only their pain.

Step 4: Ask for suggestions and write it down on paper or a white board.  If you think employees might be intimidated by this process, the best way to continue is to distribute small sticky notes for anonymous opinions. Let them write their ideas on the sticky notes and stick on a wall. Now group the ideas together and record the suggestions.

Step 5:  Use the 80/20 principle by measuring each idea against the input you will provide and the result / output you will be creating.  The ideal is to have a lower input and a higher output. This means putting in 20% more effort that will result in saving 80% on time.

Step 6: Implement the ideas.

Step 7: Celebrate it!  When a person supports a sports team and the team wins, the person shares and internalises the victory (make it his/her own).  
So, get all the departments together each Friday just before knock off time and ask each department/division to share their achievements of the week.  Employee will go home happy and share their successes with the family.
If your employees are not happy then you don`t celebrate enough.


Finally, there is good news and there is bad news.

The bad news is that your like factor is part of your personality and dificult to change.

The good news is that you can catch yourself whenever you think a like factor thought.

Say the following aloud if you catch yourself:

“I was not appointed to be liked, I was appointed to do the right thing!”

All the best with your like factor.


P.S. The lower the like factor the better your chance for being a excellent manager.


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