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August Book Review: The Likeability Factor by Tim Sanders

If you’ve noticed a trend here, I’m a pretty big fan of Tim Sanders! I just can’t help it—he has such a pleasurable way of writing while, at the same time, introducing me to think about concepts (in this case, the idea of being well liked) in entirely new ways.

For example, with “The Likability Factor,” this passage on page 20 made me stop in my tracks: “Our nation is so focused on efficiency and productivity that we forget that likability is truly our lifeline. People who are likeable, or who have what I call a high L-factor, tend to land jobs more easily, find friends more quickly, and have happier relationships.”

Hmmm…when’s the last time you’ve thought about whether you are likeable? And that is preciously why I love Tim’s words so much. They make me connect the dots about stuff like this. To summarize Tim’s teachings here (and I really think you should read the book because this is just the 30-second overview), he writes passionately about elements of likeability, then provides myriad ways for you to process improving your L-factor (and if you’re serious about raising it, be prepared to do some journaling because Tim gives you a few “homework” assignments with this text)! Those elements include:

1) Friendliness: your ability to communicate liking and openness to others

2) Relevance: your capacity to connect with others’ interests, wants and needs

3) Empathy: your ability to recognize, acknowledge and experience other people’s feelings (which, THANK YOU TIM for finally–on pg. 117–helping me to grasp the true difference between empathy and sympathy!)

4) Realness: the integrity that stands behind your likeability and guarantees its authenticity

I like to think of myself as a pretty likeable person, but I think there’s ALWAYS something to take away from books like this. And with that in mind, here were a few gems of thought that I starred, highlighted, underlined (you get the idea) from “The Likeability Factor”:

• Likeability is an ability to create positive attitudes in other people through the delivery of emotional and physical benefits. By being likeable, by generating positive feelings in others, you gain as well. The quality of your life and the strength of your relationships are the product of choice—but not necessarily your choice. After all, if everything were a matter of choice, you’d select the best job, the best mate, and the best life in the world. Your life is really determined by other people’s choices.

• (On the correlation between likeability and self-esteem): Quoting Dr. Nathaniel Brandon—”Self-esteem is the immune system of your mind. A healthy immune system doesn’t mean you won’t become ill, but it reduces a susceptibility. The same is true psychologically. In my practice I have found that those with strong self-esteem have a resilience in the face of life’s difficulties and ongoing stress.”

• If you make people feel great, they will listen to you, think about what you said, and store it someplace in their head.

• (On what makes people popular, referencing a study conducted by a Stanford researcher): The traditional thinking was that dominant factors in popularity were attractiveness, intelligence, and/or athletic ability. But the real determinants included general happiness; an upbeat, positive personality; smiling and really liking most people.

And a WONDERFUL take-away for business owners, particularly photographers:

• “When the viewer likes your ad or your brand, they assume you make a high-quality product.” Likeability is a shortcut for quality. “I like you; you can perform” is a common association for all of us, whether or not it’s supported by the facts.

January’s Book: Linchpin by Seth Godin

February’s Book: The Courage to Create by Rollo May

March’s Book: Creating Customer Evangelists by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba

April’s Book: Today We are Rich by Tim Sanders

May’s Book: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

June’s Book: Fine Art Wedding Photography by Jose Villa

July’s Book: VisionMonger by David duChemin

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