Likability: Your Key to Success

 In Blog

At The Randy Lane Company we stress the importance of likability to achieve success. People will respond positively to you if they like and trust you. Even jerks get a positive response if they are likable jerks!

Jeff McHugh details the most important characteristics to enhance your likability.


According to Gallup, the most likable candidate has won every presidential election since 1960. What could Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton do to be more likable, and how does that relate to what you might do to make audiences like you better as a media personality?

  1. Be intimate and personal. NPR aired a story this week called “The Disconnect Between The Public And Private Hillary.”  Many people view Hillary as cold and untrustworthy, but she could change that perception by sharing more personal stories.

       2. Show vulnerability and self-deprecation. After serving aboard a PT boat in
World War II, John F. Kennedy was asked by a child how he became a war hero.
The President replied, “It was absolutely involuntary; they sunk my boat.”

There is an axiom in movie screenwriting that says, “If you want to make the audience hate a character, make him or her invulnerable.” Trump conveys authority well, but he rarely admits mistakes, does not acknowledge his business failures, and his jokes usually make fun of others. Being more vulnerable could enhance Trump’s likability.

  1. Share emotions. In the past, political experts advised candidates against crying publicly, but President Obama redefined masculinity and authority when he choked up while speaking about the tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school.
  2. Be funny, and have fun. George W. Bush returned to the Obama White House for the unveiling of his presidential portrait. Since it hung beside a portrait of George Washington, he joked, “The collection now begins and ends with George W.” Watch this exchange of good-natured humor between Obama and Bush.  After watching this clip, don’t you – regardless of party –  really like both presidents?

A study in the Journal of Human Nature said, “Laughter is linked specifically to fostering behaviors that encourage relationship development.” More laughs equal more likes.

5. Be authentic. People respond positively to authenticity.

Whether you are hosting a radio show, podcast, television show or running for office, remember that the public responds more to authenticity and humor than to policy and ideas.

Photo Credit:

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.