Who do you think of when you hear the word ‘charismatic’? Richard Branson? Oprah Winfrey? Nelson Mandela? Of course, many famous people have oodles of confidence and charm, but what is it that embodies charisma? According to Forbes, everyone can be charasmatic, and it’s definitely something that can be cultivated – whether you’re an actor or an accountant. If you feel that you’re lacking in the magnetic personality department, here are some suggestions to help you go from zero to hero.
Start with some humility
No one likes a know-it-all or large doses of arrogence. Even if you’re the CEO of a company, it pays to show a little respect to those beneath and above you. According to Inc.com, no matter what your status at the office is, you need to put it aside and go easy on the self-importance. It also suggests that when engaging with someone, you should appear genuinely happy about it. Don’t come across as forced: all you need to do is step forward, make eye contact, and tilt your head towards them ever so slightly. A genuine expression of interest will result in instant likability, guaranteed.
Being charismatic doesn’t mean you need to have the gift of the gab; on the contrary, you need to get people to talk about themselves. According to Inc.com, an easy way to achieve this is to ask a lot of questions, preferably open-ended ones, as these give the other person the chance to really engage. When we ask the right questions – and listen attentively – something magical happens: it makes the other person feel special and important. According to Inc.com, listening shows that you care, and you should only speak when you have something pertinent to say. Charismatic people don’t fill conversation gaps with inane comments or unsolicited advice.
Confidence is key
Charismatic people simply ooze confidence, so if you lack it, you need to at least try to fake it. An air of confidence can be achieved by simply adjusting your posture and body language: experiment with a slight swagger, or push your shoulders back a little. According to Forbes, you should always remember the cardinal confidence rules of smiling and making eye contact. However, be careful not to overdo things, as people can detect a fake smile from across the room. Just relax, and know that you’re confident. The body language will then naturally fall into place. It also helps to study charismatic people and to emulate their gestures. How does Obama look when he greets dignitaries, and what is special about Mandela’s smile?
You don’t have to be a born Brando to be charismatic. All it takes is a little learning and a whole lot of confidence. Bringing some charisma to the office can certainly help you make connections, influence people, and improve your career prospects. Add some humility, respect, and superb listening skills, and you’ll be drawing people to you in no time.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Written by Ang Lloyd on behalf of Dynamics Careers, a niche job board that specialises in Microsoft Dynamics jobs around the world.
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