The 11 Laws of Likability

Book Description

We all know that networking is important, and that forming relationships with others is a vital part of success. But sometimes it seems like networking removes all emotions from the equation and focuses only on immediate goals…whereas the kind of relationships that have true staying power, give us joy, and support us in the long run are founded on simply liking each other.

This book, featuring activities, self-assessment quizzes, and real-life anecdotes from professional and social settings, shows readers how to identify what’s likable in themselves and create honest, authentic interactions that become “wins” for all parties involved. Readers will discover how to:

  • Start conversations and keep them going with ease
  • Convert acquaintances into friends
  • Uncover people’s preferences and tweak their own personal style to enable engaging, reciprocal interactions
  • Create follow-up and stay in others’ minds long after the initial meeting

The worst thing we can do when trying to establish a personal bond with someone is to come across as manipulative or self-serving. Authentic connections go much deeper—and feel much easier—than trying to hit self-imposed business card collection quotas. This book presents a new paradigm that shows how even the most networking-averse can network…and like it.

From the Back Cover

We all know that networking is important for success, but the networking tactics we read about take a lot of work—and can feel so phony! Wouldn’t it be great if you could network in a more relaxed, authentic way?

The 11 Laws of Likability reveals a painless new way to network that’s based on one simple truth: People do business with people they like. In this empowering book, you’ll learn how to identify and accentuate your most likable characteristics, and also how to:

  • Start conversations and keep them going with ease
  • Avoid coming across as manipulative or self-serving
  • Convert acquaintances into friends
  • Tweak your own personal style to enable engaging interactions with different kinds of people
  • Stay in others’ minds long after your initial meeting
  • And more.

Featuring real-life scenarios and packed with activities and self-assessment quizzes, this powerful yet down-to-earth book will help bring to light all of your natural likability—and give you easy, comfortable methods for creating honest, enjoyable interactions that become “wins” for you and for all parties involved.

Forming relationships is the foundation of success. And once you discover “The 11 Laws of Likability,” your road to success in any field will be faster and more enjoyable than you ever imagined.


“Finally, in a world full of messages about what we all need to acquire in order to achieve success, Michelle Lederman teaches us that we already have everything we need to connect with others. A must-read for anyone interested in how to effectively leverage your network . . . by just being yourself.”

–Tiffany Dufu, President, The White House Project

“WOW, I simply love this book. I couldn’t put it down once I started it. Lederman’s insights, gems, and nuggets of brilliance are a must-read for all those climbing the ladder of success in business and life. Seldom does a book say it better or more powerfully regarding the power and importance of the relationships in our lives and give us the roadmap for establishing lifelong friendships. Thank you Michelle for giving us this important and timely gem.”

–George C. Fraser, author, CLICK: Ten Truths for Building Extraordinary Relationships

“‘Likability’ is a powerful and often considered intangible component of influence. Michelle Lederman shows that it can be broken down and studied. There are implications here for organizations as well as individuals.”

–Irv Schenkler, Clinical Professor of Management Communication; Director, Management Communication Program, Stern School of Business, New York University

“Engaging, insightful, and so useful, The 11 Laws of Likability is a must-read for working moms looking to expand their networks and cultivate new allies. And let’s face it, who wouldn’t benefit from some pointers about the best ways to start new conversations? Michelle Lederman’s step-by-step approach starts with preparation before the conversation takes place, takes you through the conversation, and then provides guidance on the relationship-building that can take place afterward. Hers is a no-fail approach.”

–Suzanne Riss, Editor-in-Chief, Working Mother magazine

“A number of components of a complete education 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.”

–Joan DeSalvatore, CEO, College Bound Advising Today; formerly Assistant Dean, Columbia Business School and Associate Dean, Lehigh University, College of Business and Economics

“Run, don’t stroll, to get this book! Michelle Tillis Lederman provides brilliant insights on how to build and maintain meaningful professional relationships–from contact to connection.”

–Ann Demarais, co-author, First Impressions: What You Don’t Know About How Others See You

“The majority of our professional lives revolve around relationships: with clients, bosses, colleagues, etc. Michelle Lederman gives a framework of self-reflection that helps drill down and illuminates that most powerful tool we bring to the table: our authentic self. She shows how we already have what we need–we just need to recognize it.”

–Sharon Gala, investments portfolio manager; President 2010-2011, MetLife Women’s Investment Network

“The idea of starting from ‘the outside in’ is critically important–particularly for women and newcomers to the workplace. Michelle’s approach was fresh. The anecdotes and use of humor made the book user friendly, and I would recommend it for your home and office libraries, as the theories apply in both contexts.”

–LaChonne Walton, Director, Human Resources & Administration, Jazz at Lincoln Center

“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.

–Becky Sheetz-Runkle, author, Sun Tzu for Women: The Art of War for Winning in Business

The 11 Laws of Likability offers a fresh, insightful, and readable new perspective on networking. Its focus on connection and relationship building provides a welcome alternative to the ‘working a room’ approach to networking–and readers will certainly relate to the real-life examples included throughout every chapter. There is no question that this is a book I will refer to often and recommend to those who are looking for practical advice on how to build lasting business relationships.”

–Sheryl Parker, Founder, Powwow: A Network for Women Making a Difference

“Michelle Tillis Lederman takes a sustainability approach to relationships. She shows readers how to establish a foundation to build upon and turn a conversation into a connection. This book is practical, tactical, and applicable to those at all conversational skill and professional levels.”

–Debra Fine, keynote speaker, trainer, and bestselling author of The Fine Art of the Big Talk: How to Win Clients, Deliver Great Presentations, and Solve Conflicts at Work


“The 11 Laws of Likability is a well-organized, clearly written book that brings home many potentially eye-opening concepts, all of which are based on the idea that networking can be as enjoyable as having a conversation with friends and still be highly beneficial to career goals.”  See the Full Review by Meredith Ann Rutter.


Sometimes self-help authors can’t help but fall into the trap of being overly positive. But not Michelle Tillis Lederman — she knows how to remain balanced. In her book, The 11 Laws of Likability: Relationship Networking . . . Because People Do Business with People They Like, she proves her method simply by the way she writes. See the Full Review by Devon Tomasulo, MFA


Like all business and self-help books, a lot of the advice seems like common sense, especially to extroverts who are good at networking anyway. However, taken as a whole, the 11 laws can inspire you to be open to every potential new contact. Lederman does a great job supporting her laws with stories from her personal networking successes. See the Full Review by Donna.


“The “11 laws of likability” are actually paradigms for networking and relationship building. They can be used as a key element of the selling function, the management function, or simply expanding your network of new friends.” See the Full Review by Henry Holtzman.


“In this book, Ms.Tillis Lederman guides you through finding what is inherently likable about you and the most effective networking tool: face-to-face conversation.” See the Full Review by Cheryl Waity.


“Remember when you were younger, adults would constantly remind you on how to act: “Put that down”, “say thank you,” “smile”. Refreshingly, I felt like this book acted as my adult, giving helpful reminders on how to be perceived better by others.” See the Full Review by Elena Reeds.


“To some the entire concept might come off as overly simplistic or worse a recipe for insincerity in the name of business networking. But few will seriously argue that professional relationships aren’t an indispensable aspect of workplace success or that likability isn’t important.” See the Full Review by Wesley.


“Her book is full of advice on how to develop the skills necessary. I have a friend who has built a business on such personal contact and it works.” See the Full Review by Alan Caruba.


“These lessons couldn’t be more relevant than now, as many banks are still recovering from the Great Recession. Obtaining as well as retaining good customers is extremely important to the overall health of the bank.” See the Full Review by Jane Haskin.


“While valuable in business situations, the wisdom which the book contains can be applied to any relationship. It’s upbeat, supportive, and full of good advice.” See the Full Review by Anna Jedrziewski.


“If you want to learn how to more effectively build relationships, then this book may be for you.” See the Full Review by Jason Jacobsohn.


“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.” See the Full Review by Tina Arnoldi.


“Written with an easy-to-understand tonality, the information printed on these pages is highly usable and can be implemented one the words have transcended into your mind.” See the Full Review by Christina Jonas Kennedy.


“Michelle Tillis Lederman turns the entire concept of networking upside down and points out that networking isn’t about the person doing the networking. It’s all about the relationship with other people.”  See the Full Review by Wayne Hurlbert.


“Forming relationships is the foundation of success. And once you discover “The 11 Laws of Likability,” your road to success in any field will be faster and more enjoyable than you ever imagined.” See the Full Review by Jeannine.


“The book is an easy read. Lederman uses some storytelling to demonstrate the use of each law. Her stories do not overwhelm and provide applicable examples. This book is aptly titled and the readers are going to like it and the author just fine.” See the Full Review by Patricia Faulhaber.


“By equating networking and friendship, Lederman bridges the apparent divide between substance and appearance — and reaffirms the importance of authenticity.” See the Full Review by David G. Jensen.


“This is not ‘remake your personality and change your life in thirty days;’ this is real, practical advice with reminders not to try to change too much at once–to be patient and work with realistic goals for mastering new skills…as a reading experience, it’s well-written and flows easily. You can and should take plenty of time to work on the information and skills offered here, but you won’t bog down on your first read through to take in the basics and get a sense of where you want to start first on the those exercises.”  See the Full Review by Lis Carey.


“The 11 Laws of Likability is specific and helpful. Told through a useful vignette at the beginning of each chapter immediately following a quote from a famous health professional, Lederman then details concrete examples and exercises. Her conversational tone allows her readers to read with ease and pick up bits of gold along the way.  See the Full Review by The Reading Countess.


“The author, Michelle Tillis Lederman, gives good advice on how to network in a more relaxed and authentic way.  If you are looking for a job (or trying to build your business), her advice can be invaluable.” See the Full Review by Dr. Helen Smith.


The 11 Laws of Likability is about transmitting information; interactionism and context- terms Lederman doesn’t use, but subjects about which she is clearly an expert. But, this is not a textbook or ivory-tower thinking. Lederman’s work is less about human development and more about human decency.” See the Full Review by Jennifer.


“Packed with humorous anecdotes and practical applications, The 11 Laws of Likability present a highly appealing as well as highly effective new paradigm for networking.” See the Full Review.


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