Today we are going to explore how to be more likeable as a tour leader, guide or experience host and break down the habits of likeable individuals.
But first a quick story.
I was shy as a young child.
And not the cute, bashful, ‘oh-isn’t he a dear’ kind of shy, more like the socially crippling, face-burying, ‘such a shame about that Tonner boy… I wonder if he was dropped?’ kind of shy.
And it stuck around for years, creating no shortage of awkward moments in junior high.
I have a memory from grade seven of a pretty brown-haired girl turning around in class and asking me if I preferred girls that shaved their legs or not.
My entire body Han Solo’d.
Mouth open. Eyes-wide. Completely encased in solid carbonite.
I was so mortified by this simple question that not only couldn’t I stammer out an opinion, I couldn’t even stammer out a stammer.
After a few moments of patience, confusion and ultimately irritation, the girl turned back around in her chair, realizing that I was clearly too useless to help with her polling.
This is the type of incident that can give an adolescent boy months of pained reflection.
“Why am I so embarrassed all the time?” “How is everyone else so confident and likeable?”
It was a phase to be sure, and like many other phases, it eventually passed.
(my horn-blowing emo years were amongst the most obnoxious)
But questioning ‘What makes a person likeable?’ has been a regular pass time in my adult life.
This question lies at the centre of the curious Yin and Yang of ‘Not caring what anyone thinks about you’ and ‘desperately needing social acceptance and attention’
And this is even more relevant for tour leaders, guides, experience hosts and anyone who work in the service industry.
Being affable, warm, pleasant and fun, are all central to ensuring your guests and customers are being well taken care of.
But how to be more likeable as tour leader?
Is this really something that’s in our control?
I think it is.
Consider the most likeable people that you have ever met.
Describe them to yourself.
What is it that made you so comfortable around them?
Now take a look at the words you used. I am willing to bet that you largely focused on qualities that under people’s control, things like approachability, humility, positivity, etc.
These qualities, and others like them, describe people who are skilled in emotional intelligence (EQ).
There is even research data from TalentSmart for over a million people that shows people who possess these skills aren’t just highly likeable, they outperform those who don’t by a large margin. Ninety percent of top performers have high EQs, people with high EQs make $29,000 more annually than people with low EQs, and a single-point increase in your EQ adds $1,300 to your salary.[/vc_column_text]
Let us know in the comments if you have some other advice for presenting information on tour or other great interpretation tips for tour guides!
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