Trust, Likeability and Leadership

Bill Graham


Bill Graham
Our very first activity as the new class of Leadership Frederick County was a full-day session called “The 21st Century Leader” with Speaker Bill Graham.

Graham spoke to our crowd on a number of topics including trust, likeability, communication and leadership.

As a self-help junkie I was truly looking forward to the session. And he did not disappoint.


A few takeaways from from the session:

Communication is not an activity like speaking and writing. Communication is a result.

Likeability matters especially when you are speaking or selling an idea, yourself or your company.

If you can improve your likeability, you will improve your impact.

A poll conducted by UCLA resulted in what is referred to as a the likeability “55-38-7 rule.”  This “likeability rule” is:

  • 55% of whether people like you is judged by your face and body
  • 38% has to do with the sound of our voice
  • 7% is what you actually say

If people don’t like you, they will not listen to your message. If they do like you, however, they will trust you and ultimately believe and buy from you.

In the world of communication, every time you open your mouth you should try to be of help. If you are not helping then you are essentially hurting yourself.

We must treat people we come in contact with like they are special. If we’re not treating everyone that we meet like they are special then we are missing something crucial. And that something has to do with likeability.

Human beings remember things through emotion, through feeling, fear, loving and caring. Therefore that is how we should communicate and how we will be successful. It is the essence of making a powerful human connection. If you can deliver one message that everyone connects with and remembers – you win.

I really enjoyed the way that Bill Graham delivered his message to the class and especially how he wove together the concepts of communication, trust, likeability and leadership. Likeability is a simple, yet surprisingly profound  concept and one that many overlook in their day to day dealings with the world.  Yet it is clear that without mastering this simple skill, one may never fully realize their potential as a leader.

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