VanderUnicorn Spotlight: Eric Albert is Likable
With over 30,000 interviews to our name, Vanderbloemen has mastered the art of identifying the best. It comes down to 12 data-driven traits that set the greatest workers apart as “Unicorns.” These traits are covered in-depth in William Vanderbloemen’s new book Be the Unicorn.
But even the best of the best aren’t expected to master all 12 traits simultaneously. Excellence in just one of these traits can qualify a candidate for a vital role on your team. We believe each member of our team of experts exemplifies these traits in various ways, and we’ve chosen one person to highlight how each trait translates in the workplace.
Meet our Likable VanderUnicorn, Eric Albert
The 10th Unicorn trait is to be likable. In Be the Unicorn, William explains that the likable have the ability to stay employed and even get promoted simply through relational equity. An employee could be brilliant, skilled, and efficient, but if they’re not likable, you could still want them off your team.
One of Vanderbloemen’s most likable employees is Executive Search Consultant Eric Albert. With a unique ability to light up a room with laughter, Eric seems to be able to win over any crowd.
“Likability is the ability to make others feel at ease. It is not about you,” Eric says. “It is about them.”
Eric’s likability is one of the traits that’s gotten him where he is today, but not because of his ability to turn on that likable flair when he needs it. Eric has made a habit of knowing people’s names, laughing at their jokes, empathizing with their feelings, and asking questions. Over time, his personable interactions have drawn people toward him.
People tend to feel known after talking to Eric because he listens. They may feel like they know Eric better too, but if they do, it’s probably not because he said much of anything about himself.
“In reality, I just asked them questions and told them funny stories,” Eric says.
But these are intentional choices Eric makes to connect with the crowd around him. He searches for ways to swing the conversation in the other person’s favor. He digs with questions until he finds common ground. Kindness works, but it also takes work.
“Being likable takes a lot of energy,” Eric explains. “For an introvert, they need to really recover from spending so much energy. For an extrovert, they still need to recover, but it doesn’t take as long.”
There are times to speak and times to listen. Keep the conversation going, but sit back and listen when you can. Ask about the other person’s family and free time. Talk about what they like… The work is intellectual.
“You don’t have to go be the loudest, funniest, craziest person,” Eric says. “But you will have to make an effort.”
Anyone can give that effort. Being likable is choosing to be more aware of the other person than yourself in a conversation. Naturally, you will want to talk about yourself, your interests, your stories, etc. But if you continually redirect your perspective onto what the other person wants, you will stand out. People will remember you and want to keep you around.
It may seem entirely self-sacrificial to choose the likable path (and in the little moments it may be), but favor follows The Likable with time.
Likability thrives in sales. People listen to who first listened to them.
“In every job that I have had, I have also had people be angry with me,” Eric says. “I was still able to connect with them, understand what they were feeling and move them to a point where they felt heard and valued.”
You are selling your ideas, a product, a compromise, or anything that might come up while working with people.
At its best, likability will help you to tear down barriers in the way of sharing your faith. People come with misconceptions, feelings, and history (and you do too). Getting to know someone before you speak will open you both up to each other’s hearts.
Likability is at its best when it comes from a genuine desire to see others. With all the work involved, likability can feel like being an entertainer. It’s the difference between feeling connected with someone and enjoying actually connecting with them. Even Eric continues to work at this.
You need likable people like Eric on your team to set the tone. Be a team that listens to each other, laughs with each other, and pushes themselves to be genuine. Likability engenders more liability and is always worth the effort, as anyone who knows Eric Albert knows.
Find your unicorn
We’re so blessed to have unicorns on our team like Eric, and we want to equip your team with candidates just like him. To start the search for your own top talent, get in touch today.
To learn more about the 12 traits the best employees share, order Be the Unicorn for yourself, a friend, or even your whole team. Buying in bulk can save you up to 47% off the cover price, plus it comes with bonus content and other extra perks.
Finally, if you’d like to assess the strengths of your own team, check out the Vander Index, our new tool that's a companion to Be the Unicorn, based on our years of data collection and experience.