The 11 Laws of Likability

Relationship Networking… Because People Do Business With People They Like

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.

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. 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.

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Michelle as an Author

Michelle has written several books that truly help people work better together. From getting the job you want in Nail the Interview, Land the Job and Heroes Get Hired to continuing to build your network in The 11 Laws of Likability and The Connector’s Advantage. Michelle provides the resources to further your success. Featuring real-life anecdotes, activities and self-assessments, her books are easily actionable and perfect for anyone at any level of an organization.

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Using the Thinking Preferences Assessment (TPA) you can discover your thinking preferences – that is, which part of your brain you prefer to exercise the most in thinking and learning. Your brain profile gives an indication of how you prefer to communicate, manage, learn, teach, lead, solve problems, make decisions, form relationships and many more aspects of life. Click here to see sample results.

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What people are saying about The 11 Laws of Likability

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

I have read Michelle’s book The 11 Laws of Likability three times and I highly recommend this book. I have learned something new each time! Great read!!

Shawn Shook | Chief Operating Officer
BBE Solutions, Inc

An Engaging, Practical Guide to Likability. What makes this book different (and better!) than other books on this topic, is that the author grounds her theory of likability in authenticity, and offers readers helpful, introspective exercises to assess their truest selves. I found the writing engaging, and the advice applicable far beyond the workplace.

Alli J.

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 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

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in increasing their influence and impact. Well organized, captivating anecdotes to illustrate her points, and useful takeaways that are immediately applicable. This book will serve me well in my own growth as an entrepreneur, but also one that I will share with many others. Well done!

Laura Putnam, Author
Workplace Wellness that Works

Read This Book Now!The 11 Laws of Likability is a great and thoughtful breakdown of things we believe we know intuitively, but with a clear and concise science behind them. It will help you reassert and realign the intentions behind your actions.

Robeto Blake

‘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
NYU Stern School of Business

This is an outstanding book. It is not only incite-full! but is easy to read and packed full of useful practical tips that just seem super easy to implement and make a real difference. It opened up a whole new vista for me of how networking and relationship cultivation are not just something you have or don’t have but are like dancing, you really can learn the steps.

Mike Davis

It’s a simple declarative sentence containing only seven words, but it reveals one of the most critically important secrets of business success: People like to do business with people they like.” “In her book “The 11 Laws of Likability,” Michelle Tillis Lederman, an adjunct professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business, provides step-by-step guidance for improving your likability quotient.

By William J. Lynott

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.

See the Full Review by Christina Jonas Kennedy

But now, having read from virtual cover to cover, (and admittedly, having gone through some of the exercises), I feel like I should make an appointment with myself, and set time aside to go through everything more carefully, perhaps even with a group of people I’m working with. I think it could do some good. I can only compliment how the author works through all of these aspects, teaches finding a workable common ground, and teaches in a multiplicity of ways how to look at and relate to others with compassion, understanding , through unbiased eyes.

By Allie on

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.

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 is a MUST READ!  It’s simplicity is what makes it so valuable. Michelle talks about basic principles that make people more likeable – and people do business with people they like! She uses stories and examples to illustrate every law. I recommend this book to all of my clients – and friends! 


This book was extremely helpful in walking me through the components of a good conversation. I now feel equipped to tackle a chat with anyone.  

Frank J. Agin

 I was excited to hear Michelle Tillis Lederman on Amy Landino’s Detail Therapy podcast. I immediately got her book, The 11 Laws of Likability. The laws in the book are easy to understand and apply to everyday life. It felt as if Michelle was in the room talking with me. I liked her openness with her thoughts and actions. Each chapter gives easy to use tips on how to apply the law to everyday life. And ends with a summary of the main points. 
I look forward to reading more books by Michelle Tillis Lederman. 

Kathleen Bray 

This books is straight forward and highly readable. A very pleasant and informative read for coaches, HR professionals, Supervisors and Managers, and just about everybody who wants to up their influencing, networking and people management skills. 

Her book is so crisp and well organized, flavored with personal caselets, screened side features with hands on examples and powerful end of chapter summaries for each of the 11 laws. A delightful and informative read. Pore through it and then practice, practice, practice. 

Ruth K. Robbins, Master Career Coach, GetFive 

The book is a wonderful manual on how to network without selling your soul or authenticity. It is comprehensive, well written and articulated. Through the effective use of storytelling, strategies and self-assessment quizzes the book takes us seamlessly through 11 different areas that will help us build stronger, more fulfilling and joyful relationships. It helps us to understand that the only way that networking can be effective is if we take the time to actively listen and show a real interest in getting to know others. This takes this book beyond networking and into building solid, lifelong connections with others that actually benefit both parties. 

Harvey Deutschendorf 

The 11 Laws of Likability is an excellent, well written, and easy to read self improvement book. It presents the importance of networking with quizzes to evaluate yourself. It also teaches essential networking skills to develop and improve relationships. I found the information very useful and the author Michelle Tillis Lederman is an excellent motivational speaker and gives excellent tips on interviewing skills and networking. This is a great book to have if you are in career transition. 


I just started networking very recently (one month ago) and the ONLY thing in my mind when I met or collected a business card was “hope they call me for business ” but since that night at the Forbes event listening to you and now reading your book You have opened my 👀 eyes to try to know the people first without asking for anything and try to build a relationship instead of a transaction. I just wanted to say THANKS!! 


I found this book to be an easy read with practical advice and case studies. What I liked most was that the advice was segregated from the case study narratives. This made skipping them easier if I felt they were not applicable. All in all, a must read if you’ve spent much of you career in technical positions and are now in a management role. 

A Goodfellow 

I spent decades of my life not knowing how to be likable and it sucked. I wish I’d had this book before because schools don’t teach this stuff and it matters in life and business. 

If you’re looking to understand yourself and what makes people likable, Michelle Tillis Lederman thought about things most of us gloss over or never get in any depth, but matter. She explains things simply and colorfully. You’ll see yourself in many of the characters in the many stories she illustrates the laws of likability with. 

This is a book to take your time with. Some pages you could easily spend weeks understanding and putting into practice. She also weaves many threads through different chapters, coming at concepts from different perspectives, so I found it worth rereading more than once, getting more each time. 

She gives exercises that are worth doing. There’s no changing that there is a lot to act on, but she structures the book from preparing yourself, to beginning connections, to relationships, so you can progress confidently, knowing where you’re going. 

Joshua Spodek 

This book is a must read for anyone interested in improving their personal and or business relationships. It’s an easy read with many relatable examples of the various social cues we often miss when speaking with people. The author touches on many important aspects of communication and provides practical tips that help the reader easily navigate various social interactions. As a psychotherapist, I have recommended this book to my clients and colleagues that struggle with social anxiety or are simply looking to sharpen their socialization skills. The practical examples and applications of the concepts the book offers are helpful to people looking to improve their social connections and or expand their business network. I love the way the book is laid out starting with the importance of authenticity, then clearly outlining each of the 11 laws and summarizing all of the important points at the end of each chapter. In addition, each chapter leaves the reader with a new perspective that in my professional opinion markedly reduces anxiety in social situations, alleviates the need for the business favor tally, and transforms networking tasks from “have tos” into “want tos”. I highly recommend this book because I learned a lot and didn’t want the book to end. Can’t wait to read the next one! 

Kimberly Meere