Breaking Down the 8 Traits of "Likeability"

Steve Adubato sits down with Steven Goldstein, Author, “The Turn On: How the Powerful Make Us Like Them,” to break down the 8 traits of “likeability” and how they make us like or dislike public figures such as President Trump, Hillary Clinton, business leaders and celebrities.

12/19/2019 #2270






"Hi, I'm Steve Adubato. This is the Tisch WNET Studio, here in the heart of New York City, Lincoln Center. We have him back. He's Steven Goldstein. He's the author of a compelling book called The Turn-On: How the Powerful Make Us Like Them - from Washington to Wall Street to Hollywood. Steven has been a friend of the show for a long time. Great to see you. In different capacities. By the way, are you becoming a rabbi? I am. I am. So I'm a civil rights lawyer, a TV producer, and now I'm in rabbinical school. And halfway through. Good luck. Thank you. You know, I can do this interview in Aramaic if you want. You could? Yeah. Yeah. Well we'd appreciate that on PBS, but let's try to stay focused. Previous life... check out some previous interviews we did with Steven, Garden State Equality, Anne Frank work as well. Here we go. This book. Likeability. What is it? A formula? What is it? Science? Look. Let me tell you how I came up with this book Steve. Go ahead. I, 25 years ago, had two very different jobs. I was a lawyer for Chuck Schumer, when he was chair of the US House Judiciary Committee. That job ended on a Friday. And two days later, I was a producer for Oprah Winfrey. Yes you were. So left-brain, right-brain. And I started to take notes at both jobs. What makes a compelling witness? And as we tape this, this is the day that we have an impeachment hearing, and you could see... December 4th, we're taping. The report came out? Yeah. We'll see what happens? Yeah. Go ahead. You could see which witnesses were likeable and not. And so I took notes on what personality traits... The ambassador very likeable? Very likeable. I'm just saying. Extremely likeable. Not my opinion. I'm just, you know... She's very likable. And then when I went to Oprah, I would take notes on what makes guests likeable. Oh, I had about 30 traits in each job. They turned out to be really similar. I boiled them down to eight. That was 25 years ago. And I took notes at jobs ever since. And the premise of my book is that likeability can be manufactured by behind-the-scenes people only to an extent. Meaning if a public figure seeks to be too far from who he or she is in real life, it won't work. They'll be found out. Like Richard Nixon. He was actually a self-insightful man, in that he knew he was terribly unlikeable. 19... after he loses the campaign in 1962, he's in an interview on PBS, he loses the campaign in California for governor, and he said, "I'm done. No..."