The library was closing, and I desperately needed another audiobook to listen to. In the last 2 minutes before they shut the doors, I grabbed this book because it seemed like something that was almost up my alley.
The Likeability Factor: How to Boost Your L-Factor and Achieve Your Life’s Dreams by Tim Sanders.
Starting out, I wasn’t sure how much this book could possibly teach me. For the most part, it boiled down to:
“Be nice to people, be likeable, and life will work out for you.”
For the first hour of the book, it felt like that was about there was to it, and I was ready to move on to something different.
Then, right as I was about to call it quits for good, it started getting interesting.
Sanders discussed university studies that found students not only (naturally) rated “likeable” teachers as better teachers, but studies showed that these students learned and retained more from these teachers.
I’ve written articles about similar studies, but it’s always nice to be reminded that research is still finding the same results and people are still talking about it.
The author also discussed the L-factor in terms of relationships.
Interpersonal communication and relationships have always been fascinating to me as a Communication instructor, so it was exciting to hear something I’d never learned before, in terms of what makes a person likeable in a relationship.
Sometimes it has nothing to do with how nice you are. Common ground can play a much bigger role.
The author discussed couples that went their separate ways after abandoning shared hobbies to pursue interests their significant other couldn’t get invested in. They didn’t necessarily do anything that made them “bad” or “unlikeable,” but losing common ground significantly decreased their L-factor with their significant other.
Sanders also discussed the opposite scenario.
There may be some casual acquaintances you run in the same circles with, who are plenty nice, but not likeable enough to build and maintain a relationship with. However, years later you may end up moving to their side of town, and building a relationship based on proximity and favorite neighborhood restaurants.
These are just a few gems I gleaned from the book. Insights like this were enough to move The L-Factor to my list of recommendations, especially for teachers.
It was interesting to note that you can gain and lose likeability, not because you did something wrong or right, but because you became more or less relevant in a person’s life.
Essentially, as the Happy Professor, I couldn’t pass up a book that reinforced the idea that likeable people and professors really do make a difference.
Happy learning, teaching, and relating!