September 27, 2011

The 11 Laws of Likability by Michelle Tillis Lederman

Seeing the title of this book, I did wonder if it would be a manipulative, “Get people to like you so they buy what you’re selling”.  Instead, the focus is on building genuine relationships with people. Traditional networking is exhausting if it’s not authentic and people probably won’t do business with people they don’t like or who are not genuine.  Lederman addressees these ideas in “The 11 Laws of Likability”.

Building relationships should not be about the transactional - “what can I get”? - but rather should be about forming real, meaningful connections.  If these connections are built authentically, then yes, down the road, you may find a way to help each other.  It’s important though to focus on the connections you want to have, rather than connections you feel you should have.   Not only is constantly operating on the “should” a tiring way to live your life, but you’re also spending time with people you may not like!  Why waste your time?  

Instead, keep your ears open for ways you can help people and make a point to listen to others so you can see if there’s a possibility for a connection based on similarities.  Also, think more about the way you portray yourself to others.  Do you focus on the negative?  Is your talk self-centered? Don’t be afraid to promote yourself, but make sure it’s not always and only about you.  If you don’t like the way you’re acting, others probably won’t either!

At first glance, the points in the book may seem obvious to some, but they offer a good message about being yourself and not trying to be something you’re not.  This book would be extremely helpful to people new to the workforce or even those who have been working for a while, but haven’t ventured outside a tight network, since it offers tips to keep a conversation going with someone new. Lederman also offers thought-provoking questions so the reader can evaluate him or herself.  

Life is short.  Do your best, look for opportunities that seem right to you, and just accept that you won’t instantly connect with everyone you meet. But don’t give up.  There are lots of people out there who are also looking to make genuine connections and this book will move you in the right direction.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from FSB Associates.

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