The 11 Laws of Likability

Relationship Networking . . . Because People Do Business with People They Like

The 11 Laws of Likability

Author: Michelle Tillis Lederman
Pub Date: September 2011
Print Edition: $16.95
Print ISBN: 9780814416372
Page Count: 240
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814416389

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The Real You Is the Best You—and the Most Likable!

How to Live the Law of Authenticity for More Productive and Enriching Connections

From job interviews to working the crowd, business interactions can be stressful—and exhausting. Especially for people who try so hard to act like a serious, successful person. Yet, the right way to interact with people—whether a prospective employer, several potential clients or donors, or a room full of fellow networkers—is what feels right for you.

“The real you is the best you, and it’s the most powerful tool for forming real connections,” assures Michelle Tillis Lederman, a specialist in enhancing interpersonal communications. “When you show your authentic self, people will respond in kind, laying the bedrock for mutual understanding, connections, and growth.” In her new book, THE 11 LAWS OF LIKABILITY: Relationship Networking…Because People Do Business with People They Like (AMACOM Books), Lederman offers the following tips for excelling in business interactions (and social interactions, too) by just being you:

• Identify what it means to be your authentic self. Pay attention to how you feel at the beginning of a new interaction and how you feel at the end of it. If you experience a sense of dread, ask yourself: What, exactly, provoked it? Is it a person, the task, or the environment? If you experience ease, ask yourself the same questions. Your answers should reveal information about the kind of experiences that prompt you to shy away from representing your true self, and those in which you feel effortlessly authentic.

• Take time to reconnect with your authentic self. When you’re in a situation that is making you feel uncomfortable or disconnected, take a moment to ask yourself: Am I being me? If your answer is “No,” then ask yourself, “Why?” Are you actively changing your behavior because of how you think you should act? Is there something about the situation that makes you feel inadequate or out of place? “Take a deep breath and reconnect with that part of you that feels authentic and honest,” Lederman urges. “Conveying your genuine self will ground you regardless of the outcome.”

• Cultivate the connections you want to have, not the ones you think you should have. The most valuable career-sustaining network is the one made up of people who not only respect you, but also genuinely like you. “Build relationships with the people you enjoy, based on your authentic experiences of them—that is, when you are being your authentic you,” Lederman advises. “The rest will follow.”

• If you can’t do it and be authentic, reframe it or delete it. “Get To,” “Want To,” “Have To,” “Should.” These are the four basic attitudes everyone brings to each situation. Use them to reaffirm what is authentic for you or help you readjust your approach to let the authentic in. Whenever faced with a Have To or Should do task, convert it into something you Get To or Want To do. Consider it from a different angle, focusing on the aspects that make you feel positive and energized. Or, if the Have To or Should task isn’t imperative, just hit the “delete” button. As Lederman stresses, “You have choices!”

• When you need to fake it, make it real. At work and in life, sometimes you have to deal with a person who gets under your skin or rubs you the wrong way. For goodness sake, don’t plaster on a forced smile and try to hide your true feelings. Instead, look at the person with unbiased eyes and find something about him or her that you can relate to, empathize with, or admire. Identifying these traits will transform your interactions with that person. You’ll gain conversational ease and more relaxed body language, coming from an authentic place. “When you can focus on what you truly do appreciate about other people, their likability—and yours—will naturally increase,” Lederman assures.

Adapted from THE 11 LAWS OF LIKABILITY: Relationship Networking…Because People Do Business with People They Like by Michelle Tillis Lederman (AMACOM Books)

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