Business Networking and the 11 Laws of Likability

In her book The 11 Laws of Likability, Michelle Tillis Lederman describes how building relationships is really about uncovering what is authentically likable in you and the other person. Though what makes each of us likable is distinct and unique, the basic drivers, or laws, of likability are the same for us all. By applying these laws to your own strengths and style, you can feel more confident and be more successful in establishing honest, lasting relationships.

Before the Conversation

1. The Law of Authenticity  Be your true self. Sharing what is real about you is the key to building real relationships, as it lays the foundation for mutual understanding and growth.

2. The Law of Self-Image  Before you can expect others to like you, you must like yourself. The ways you perceive yourself become your reality, so ditch the negative self-talk and instead remind yourself regularly of your accomplishments and strengths.

3. The Law of Perception  Just as we create first impressions, we create perceptions based on them. Be authentic and also observe the different communication styles of others to avoid misperceptions.

During the Conversation

4. The Law of Energy  The energy you give off is what you get back. This doesn’t mean you have to be ecstatically happy all the time – we can be genuine and connect deeply with others, even when faced with difficulties and challenges.

5. The Law of Curiosity  Curiosity creates connections, so harness it to open up new avenues of dialogue. Remember though that discussions are, by definition, two-sided — sharing yourself is a key part of building a real connection.

6. The Law of Listening  You have to listen to understand. To build meaningful connections, you need to listen from other people’s perspectives, and be open to looking at the world through different lenses.

7. The Law of Similarity  People tend to like people like them. Though it may not be obvious at first, look for common interests, backgrounds, and beliefs to help you connect with others.

8. The Law of Mood Memory  People are more likely to remember how you made them feel than exactly what you said. As mentioned above, pay attention to your words and energy so you can be your genuine self.

After the Conversation

9. The Law of Familiarity  Stay in people’s minds through social networks, notes, personal recommendations, etc. Leverage technology to stay updated about what’s going on in people’s lives and increase your opportunities to interact.

10. The Law of Giving  Be proactive about determining how you can help the people in your circle. Whether it’s making introductions, sharing resources, giving advice, or extending invitations, there are countless ways to create value for others.

11. The Law of Patience  Friendships evolve over time, and kindness repays kindness, even if it’s not in obvious ways.

Take a moment to consider how you stack up in each of these areas. Perhaps you could be a better listener? Maybe you can leverage tools like Mingly, so you can stay better in touch? When you start from a place of self-awareness, you will inevitably strengthen your relationships, productivity, and finally, results.

Dana Byerlee is a corporate strategist and relational marketing expert to both Fortune 500s and startups. She has worked with Ferrazzi Greenlight, and is passionate about leveraging new technology to break down barriers and build deeper connections. @LADLynn

Learn More and Get Mingly

  • Marjie

    Ms Byerlee is so right…thank you for sharing this, Patricia!