… a core concept in Leadership Skills and Atlas 109

friendlyConcept description

A reputation for friendliness, defined by as “a feeling of liking for another person; enjoyment in their company,” helps one become more effective in an organization.

See the related concepts of Liking and Assertiveness and Likeability that are addressed under Communication Skills.

The statement of Michigan State Behavioral Competencies includes the following indicators of friendliness (under the heading of Positive Attitude):

  • Creates a “can-do” climate;
  • Approaches others in a pleasant, happy and upbeat manner;
  • Maintains enthusiasm despite criticism of ideas;
  • Demonstrates support to unit/University mission;
  • Demonstrates an “I care” attitude.

The OECD Core Competencies includes the following behaviours (under the heading of Diplomatic Sensitivity):

  • The ability to hear accurately and understand unspoken, partly expressed thoughts, feelings and concerns of others. Included in this competency is an emphasis on cross-cultural sensitivity.
  • The ability to keep one’s emotions under control and restrain negative actions when faced with opposition or hostility from others or when working under stress.

Some leadership commentators emphasise the importance of demonstrating friendliness within an organization. For example, in his post, 7 Reasons Why Friendliness Is A Leadership Necessity, Paul Puckridge writes:

Having a friendly attitude as a manager means NOT using an alpha-style way of management. Being an effective manager means being kind, helpful, and open in your relationships, even when you feel angry and stressed.

Puckridge goes on to list a number of reasons why friendliness as a manager gets far greater results than using a controlling style of management and leadership, including:

  • Allow your people to feel in control.
  • People respond more openly and positively to friendliness.
  • We are modeling good interactions, bringing the future into the present.
  • We increase the chance that others will support our cause.

Atlas page Michigan State Behavioral Competencies, and original source at Michigan State University, Human Resources, at, accessed 15 February 2016.

OECD Competency Framework, summarized on the Atlas at OECD Core Competencies, original found at OECD at, accessed 7 January 2016.

Paul Puckridge, 7 Reasons Why Friendliness Is A Leadership Necessity, The Success Institute, at, accessed 15 February 2016.

Atlas topic and subject

Working in Organizations (core topic) in Leadership Skills.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 15 February 2016.

Image: Jennifer-Elise, Being Friendly, at, accessed 15 February 2016.