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Likability: Your Secret Success Weapon

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“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Right?


I know LeBron James, but he doesn’t know me. Who I know isn’t helpful by itself. It’s not about what you know or who you know. What’s most important is who knows you AND who likes you.

Success in college and in life has a lot to do with the relationships you have and the reputation you build. TwitterLogo_#55acee Leveraging likability can be your new success secret weapon, especially with your professors. Here’s how:

Professors hate failing students they like.

This doesn’t mean they’ll give you a grade that you don’t deserve just because they like you. What it does mean is that if they know you, like you and trust you, they’ll go the extra mile to make sure your grade is as high as possible. They will let you know about internships and jobs before they are publicly posted. They’ll write you glowing recommendations letters to put you a cut above everyone else.

I have taught the following strategy to tens of thousands of students during my keynote presentations at colleges and it has had incredible results for scores of students. It will help you too.

Here is a key way to build your likability with your professors.


Office Hours Are Your Friend

Each professor lists their office hours in the syllabus. Put all of their office hours dates/times/locations in your phone’s calendar and set an alarm to remind you so you can’t forget. Then, you guessed it, go visit them.

Most students only show up to office hours to either complain or at the end of the semester to try to dispute their inevitable grade. If you go at least twice a month throughout the year just to say hello or ask a specific question about something in class or get advice on the paper you are writing, your likability factor will go through the roof with them. They will want to see you succeed because you are different. You care.

Many professors also give credit for effort and participation, so going to office hours can also help boost your GPA.

Making yourself known to the professor by visiting during office hours when you don’t need anything in particular will help you in so many positive ways that are too long to list. Just know that it works magic. Please don’t believe me, test me. Try it out for one semester and see what happens.

talking in window
3 ways to communicate like a pro.

*Pro Tip*
If you aren’t sure what to say when you visit your professor, just ask them about their personal interests. They usually decorate their office with clues of what interests them. If they have a poster of a Stars Wars character ask “Awesome pic! How’d you get into liking Star Wars?”

May the likability force be with you.

This guest post is by acclaimed speaker, podcaster and author Arel Moodie. Arel is one of the leading voices helping students get to and get through college. A graduate of Binghamton University, Arel is founder of the College Success Program.

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