Likeable but not competent – You have seen these people, right? These are the ones you like to hang out with in the lunchroom; but doing a project with them, uhmm…maybe not. You are not sure if you are going to be able to come up with the best work with Mr. or Ms. Congeniality.
Competent but not likeable – What about Mr. or Ms. Achiever down the hallway? Surely, you could come up with the best project outcome with them. However, your friends will disown you if you do. Your friends do not like them after all.
Competent and likeable – Now, here is a good break. How splendid it is to be able to work with people, whom not only are popular, but also nice. Most people gravitate towards them and they are most likely the “stars” in your company. It is a dream-come-true if they had not been promoted yet to a higher position and was already out of your league.
Not competent and not likeable – These are the worst kind and still a lot of them going around in the market. Dealing with them is not easy but you have to if you want to get something done.
Looking in the mirror, you ask the question: “In which category do I fall?” You probably ask this question consciously or subconsciously every time. After all, we want to be liked and we want to be perceived competent. It is always the concern. Maybe this is what we strive for every single day at work.
This may or may not be a conscious process on your part, but every single moment you spend at work is an opportunity to manage the impression you are creating. Laura Morgan Roberts, in an interview with Mallory Stark from the Harvard Business School said, “People are constantly observing your behaviour and forming theories about your competence, character, and commitment, which are rapidly disseminated throughout your workplace. It is only wise to add your voice in framing others’ theories about who you are and what you can accomplish.”