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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A New Model for Making Strong, Lasting, and Rewarding Connections

Despite the proliferation of online job boards and the popularity of sites like LinkedIn, traditional networking—face to face and through actual conversations—still has the edge on success in the job market. In a recent survey from Right Management, featured on, 41 percent of over 59,000 new employees credited landing their job to networking, the most-cited of all the job-hunting methods. If only networking didn’t demand the extreme effort of working a room with a strategic and deliberate focus. If only networking didn’t have to be such a dreaded chore.

“When networking feels like something you have to do rather than want to do, it’s hard to motivate yourself to do it at all, let alone do it well,” acknowledges Michelle Tillis Lederman, a respected expert on effective business and interpersonal communications. In her new book, THE 11 LAWS OF LIKABILITY: Relationship Networking…Because People Do Business with People They Like, Lederman shows how networking can be as easy, enjoyable, and fulfilling as having a conversation with friends—and still be highly beneficial to career goals. Forget the conventional emphasis on business transactions, work-related topics, targeted objectives, and self-serving thoughts. Lederman encourages networkers to radically shift their thinking and place a priority on something everyone can relate to, something at the heart of honest, engaging conversations and meaningful connections: liking and being liked.

“What makes each of us likable is distinct to us. But the drivers of likability are the same for all of us,” Lederman attests. “By approaching your interactions through the lens of likability,” she assures novice, nervous, and even seasoned networkers, “you can expect to be happier, more comfortable, and more successful in establishing meaningful relationships.”

THE 11 LAWS OF LIKABILITY guides each reader through a process of uncovering what is inherently likable about him- or herself, and then sharing those qualities with people to create genuine and mutually rewarding bonds. Breaking networking down into three manageable parts, it offers a fresh perspective, tactical suggestions, and plenty of reassurance to help networkers:

• Get ready to meet someone new by getting real and comfortable with just being themselves.

• Be consistent in their modes of messaging—verbal, vocal, physical—and be flexible, willing and able to modify their behavior to ensure making the best, most authentic impression.

• Avoid snap judgments and limiting misperceptions of others.

• Put forth positive energy that is sincere, even when faced with challenges or distractions.

• Start a conversation and keep it going by daring to be curious, without being intrusive.

• Ask a variety of focused, engaged questions.

• Listen, actively and on different levels, to truly understand what is being said, identify interests, tune into emotions, and build trust.

• Look for commonalities, even in the face of obvious differences, reflect shared feelings, and relate to parallel life experiences.

• Choose their words and mannerisms with care.

• Articulate admiration and appreciation, and ask for advice, to make people feel good and exit the conversation with a positive mood memory.

• Stay in someone’s mind and find a legitimate, compelling reason for the next contact.

• Use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to continue the connection and increase familiarity.

• Offer value, cultivate patience, and gradually transform acquaintances into friendships and strong, long-lasting professional and personal associations.

Packed with humorous anecdotes and practical applications, THE 11 LAWS OF LIKABILITY presents a highly appealing as well as highly effective new paradigm for networking. To quote a former Assistant Dean of Columbia Business School, Joan DeSalvatore, now CEO of College Bound Advising Today, “This book is more than guide to business networking; it can easily serve as a guide to success in both work and life.”

About the Author

Michelle Tillis Lederman is founder and CEO of Executive Essentials which provides customized communication, team-building, and leadership programs. She is also an adjunct professor at NYU Stern School of Business and a faculty member of the American Management Association. Devoted to teaching people how to communicate to connect, she has delivered seminars internationally for corporations, universities, and nonprofit organizations including JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Columbia Business School, and The Museum of Modern Art. She lives in South Orange, New Jersey.

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