Rivalling gravitas, charm (or charisma) is the most cited personal characteristic which contributes to effective influence. As people describe what charm is, they often appear to swoon as they mentally step back into an experience of being charmed ― experiencing once again the almost magical effect it had on them.
Clearly, charm is a very potent capability to have within your skillset. Yes, it is a skill.
Most presume that charismatic people were born that way and that people are either charming or not. If you think that way, you will be missing a golden opportunity to become more influential.
Skills can be developed. Charm can be developed. You can become more charming ― if you really want to.
Here’s how to start…
- Recognise that charm is all about making other people feel highly valued. People who are charming focus on making other people feel fantastic. And they do this consistently.
- Smile at people. Issue forth genuine warmth, especially when you meet people. Demonstrate how delighted you are to see them.
- Sprinkle compliments and gratitude liberally, and make sure these sentiments are genuine and heartfelt.
- Give people your undivided attention. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted, not even by your own thoughts.
- Listen to and hear what they are saying, and what they mean. Check your understanding by reflecting back what you think you have heard and what they meant.
- Listen with your whole body. Turn into them as you connect and concentrate on what they have to say.
- Make it your priority, your job, to make them feel comfortable and at ease.
- Find a role model (or two) that you can study and learn from. You don’t have to do it exactly as they do. Adapt it into your world with integrity.
- Focus on this every day by giving yourself a charm score and thinking about what you could have done differently to have scored higher.
Of course, you will find these things hard to maintain all of the time, especially when you have tough messages to deliver. Yet none of these things are difficult to do; they just take presence of mind and lots of practice.
Go on, even you can become more charming!