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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2012
Michelle Tillis Lederman, the author of The 11 Laws of Likability, is the founder of Executive Essentials, a company that provides executive coaching among other services. Lederman writes this book out of a stunning realization she had -- wanting to be liked is a good thing. In fact, Lederman argues that networking is nothing more than being your authentic, likable self.

One of the strongest chapters in this book focused on likability in conversation, and it dealt with details like body language, curiosity, and open-ended questions. I particularly like Lederman's suggestion that we ask "How come?" instead of "Why?" because the latter automatically puts the listener on the defensive.

I appreciated how well Lederman mixed suggestion and story, teaching and illustrating. The interspersed stories were great for sparking thought and reflecting on how each chapter applies to my own life. The book is helpful for giving the reader a mental framework in which to understand networking, but it is weaker when providing specific suggestions for how to network.

I thought the chapter on the four personality types fell flat. There are already a host of personality tests, familiar to most, but the author chose to label people Straight Lines, Circles, Zig Zags, and Angles. I struggled to remember which was which, and I wish the author had stuck to a more popular system -- like the Myers-Briggs categories.

There is also a lengthy section defining terms used on various websites, including Facebook and Twitter. While those definitions might help some older readers, I found them self-evident and unnecessary.

I recommend this book particularly to introverts who wish networking came more naturally to them. This book provides a new understanding and new suggestions that are particularly helpful to those who fear networking, and it will be a great resource. Lederman's contribution to this genre is her focus on likability and building relationships, pulling networking away from its sterotypically mercenary connotation.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2011
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2012
The 11 Laws of Likability is one of several books I've recently read on the topic of networking. What I especially liked about this book is that it extends the context and concept of relationship networking beyond the conversation itself. The three parts of the book form a framework that organizes the 11 Laws of Likability into three categories: Part A: Before the Conversation (Get Real); Part B: The Conversation (Always Have It); and Part C: After the Conversation (Build Relationship). "Relationship Networking" is a great term that distinguishes itself from "Transactional Networking" and "Connectional Networking" as something that is a long-term process or investment as opposed to a short term event or gain. I like how the 11 Laws are all connected, interrelated, and interdependent as opposed to a random collection of independent laws.

The stories, chapter summaries, and "Living the Law" tips allow the reader to devise a personal development program that converts the laws into habits of mind and practice. My favorite of the 11 Laws is "The Law of Energy" because it reminded me that energy is contagious and comes in two flavors: positive and negative, which can influence my interactions with others for better or for worse. The author states: "During any interaction, each person involved transmits energy that affects the dynamic of that relationship." Monitoring, acknowledging, and shifting my energy levels relative to that of others as the author suggests is a simple and useful strategy that I will endeavor to develop as a habit. I found the new term "Energy Knowledge" to be an interesting and useful concept to add to my, well, knowledge. I consider the Law of Energy as a Fundamental Law of Personal Dynamics that fuels all the other 10 Laws of Likability. I think it also relates well to Roy Baumeister's research on Willpower as a form of energy--a finite resource that can be depleted Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength.

Overall, I liked all 11 Laws of Likability and how the author organized them into an integrated system of stories, summaries, and strategies that I can apply to further develop my own networking skills and likability. As a lifelong learner and lover of language, I also especially appreciated the alliterative title! I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in networking and building relationships, "because people do business with people they like."
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2011
There are a number of components of a complete education which are not
covered in traditional business school classes. The most successful
graduates are those who have learned the art of Networking. The basics of
that art are clearly and intelligently stated in these pages. This book is
more than a guide to business networking. It can easily serve as a guide to
success in both work and life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2011
The 11 Laws of Likability is a must read for all people who want to be themselves in the workplace. Just as personality typing shows, there are natural fits for people and professions. Similarly, Lederman shows readers that it is critical to be genuine and true to yourself to develop strong relationships. She encourages everyone to identify their personality weaknesses and adapt to them instead of trying to hide them. This book is applicable to everyone that is working, interviewing, or going to school, because we should all let our real personalities shine!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
All I can say is the author must have lots of friends willing to write good reviews. If you are looking for something more than common sense, dont buy his book. Most people reading the book will already know these basic "laws".
I am truly disappointed with Amazons reviewers, in this instance. I bought this book based on their recommendations. I found this book simplistic, boring, and lacking any insight that would appeal to anyone with an average IQ.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2011
Michelle has hit upon a very important concept here in likability. This is an insightful and practical book. At first I thought, "I know some people who need to read this!" Then, as I read more deeply, I said, "Wow, I'm glad I'm reading this!" If you believe personality and relationship are important in your business and interpersonal connections, you need to read "The 11 Laws of Likability"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2011
By Michelle Tillis Lederman (AMACOM, 2012)

Harvested with real life scenarios, personal stories, quotes, and insightful chunks to carry in your pocket, this book has the potential to transform your professional and personal life through altering the way you interact with those around you. This book is divided into three key sections: Before the Conversation (Get Real), The Conversation (Always Have It), and After the Conversation (Build Relationships).

The title of this book sums up the reality of the world; people enjoy working with and being around those that emit a likeable aura about them, as opposed to those who protrude a negative energy or a carelessness notion. "Likability is more than a nice idea, or a concept of which you stay mindful-it is an approach to your life and the people in it," (Lederman, 2012, p. 214).

Written with an easy-to-understand tonality, the information printed on these pages is highly usable and can be implemented once the words have been transcended into your mind. The eleven laws of likability discussed in this book are: authenticity, self-image, perception, energy, curiosity, listening, similarity, mood memory, familiarity, giving, and patience.

The core message in this book teaches you to be yourself in every crevice of your life, elegantly bound with respect and realism. Additionally, the importance and strategic gains of networking are communicated. This book is a superb addition to your personal library and it would also make a great gift.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the AMACOM book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255vf: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2013
`The Law of Likability' is a must read. I highlighted countless nuggets of wisdom and universal truths which continue to resonate. Like the great mentors, inspirational teachers and trainers of our time - Tony Robbins, Oprah and Brian Tracy come to my mind - Michelle's book reminds us that the `power' is in our own hands. It's about communication. It's about energy. It's about perception. Most importantly, it's about intention.

Michelle Tillis Lederman makes a compelling and thought provoking case, with excellent examples throughout the book, for the powerful outcomes we can generate simply by operating with greater intention in our world - and this includes the business world. We are habit forming by nature and we tend to do the same things over and over under the (false) assumption that it works because it has in the past (this brought to mind the great book by Marshall Goldsmith , `What Got You Here Won't Get You There' ). Taking the time to think about how we operate in our daily business interactions can give rise to big change, even for the pros. How are we perceived by our client or colleagues? How we can manage those perceptions? How can changing our own perceptions of those we interact with change the dynamic and impact outcomes? What type of energy do we bring to a meeting? Have we taken the time to adequately assess the person or the circumstance to adapt our energy in order to achieve the desired outcome ?

I greatly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2014
...it's about being aware of how you interact with the world and how that world interacts with you. It's about how to maximize your authenticity to the people in your world and proactively manage ways to make adjustments if you need them. I have been hanging on every word of the "11 Laws of Likability." It's one of the best investments I ever could have made at this point in my life! I listen to the CDs as I commute to work. As everyone's, my time seems to vanish into thin air everyday as I address all of my responsibilities. It's tough for me to find time left over to invest in my development, yet I am finding the need for fresh ideas to redefine myself as I embark in a new phase in my life. Using the time to commute to work by listening to Michelle's ideas is an incredibly valuable use of my time. Not only are the concepts enormously valuable, but her examples and descriptions make everything easy to relate to and immediately applicable. Michelle's words are inspirational, motivational and exciting. I very much enjoy her down-to-earth style that allows the reader/listener to remove the drama from the world. She gives permission to become the best we can be, instead of trying to develop in ways that just don't feel right! Staying authentic is refreshing these days - for others and ourselves -- Michelle motivates me to look at who I really am and give the world the best of ME. I wholeheartedly encourage others to embrace these laws! Thank you, Michelle!
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