Communicating Likability

In effective communicating, it’s not just important to be likable, but to exude likability. Proof? The Voice vs. American Idol.

Are you an old time addict of American Idol as I was? I even blogged on how critical confidence was for success – probably my favorite Idol of all time was Melinda Doolittle, who could have won, except for her lack of confidence. Great voice, sad result. But I digress.

The Voice has knocked American Idol off it’s long standing ratings perch – dramatically. Reason: the new judges. Both shows boost deep talent as they move into the final contests, but the difference between the judges is night and day.

The Voice:

The VoiceUsher and Shakira have joined Blake Shelton and Adam Levine as judges on The Voice. Usher is as mellow as can be, and Shakira is strong and friendly. Most importantly – they all have a good time with each other. They communicate likability – among themselves, as well as to the audience. And watching the show at home, we want to join them, see them and be with them.

Result: Millions of viewers can’t wait to tune in again next week.

American Idol:


Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey have joined Keith Urban and Randy Jackson (the only original judge). Minaj is “I centered” and frankly, unlikable. Carey is often at a loss for words; she usually looks up and away left rather than at the contestant she’s talking to, and she seems lost. Most importantly – they don’t have a good time together. Minaj and Carey either ignore each other, or are ready for a cat fight. We don’t want to be with them, and the only reason we might want to watch them is to see what Nicki Minaj is going to say or do next.

Result: Short term impact, not long term viewers.

The Rest of Us:

You and I are not seen by millions of viewers, nor do we have to compete for high ratings. But we ARE seen by dozens of people daily who DO give us ratings, whether we like it or not. On influence. On effectiveness. On whether they want to be with us? Are you communicating likability?

Are you aware of what you are communicating? Get yourself on video, check it out, and then you can choose whether you want to be like Nicki Minaj – or Shakira and the gang.

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