Charisma. Webster defines it as: a special magnetic charm or appeal. Some think you either have it or you don’t. I believe it’s a skill you can hone, because it’s more about how we treat people than anything else. Inc Magazine contributor, Jeff Haden writes… 10 Habits of Remarkably Charismatic People, He says that, “charisma isn’t something you have. It’s something you earn. Here’s how.”
1. They listen way more than they talk. Ask questions. Maintain eye contact. Smile. Frown. Nod. Respond–not so much verbally, but nonverbally. That’s all it takes to show the other person they’re important. Then when you do speak, don’t offer advice unless you’re asked. Listening shows you care a lot more than offering advice, because when you offer advice in most cases you make the conversation about you, not them.
2. They don’t practice selective hearing. Some people–I guarantee you know people like this–are incapable of hearing anything said by the people they feel are somehow beneath them. Remarkably charismatic people listen closely to everyone, and they make all of us, regardless of our position or social status or “level,” feel like we have something in common with them.
3. They put their stuff away. Don’t check your phone. Don’t glance at your monitor. Don’t focus on anything else, even for a moment. You can never connect with others if you’re busy connecting with your stuff, too. Give the gift of your full attention. That’s a gift few people give. That gift alone will make others want to be around you and remember you.
4. They give before they receive–and often they never receive. Never think about what you can get. Focus on what you can provide. Giving is the only way to establish a real connection and relationship. Focus, even in part and even for a moment, on what you can get out of the other person, and you show that the only person who really matters is you.
5. They don’t act self-important… The only people who are impressed by your stuffy, pretentious, self-important self are other stuffy, pretentious, self-important people. The rest of us aren’t impressed. We’re irritated, put off, and uncomfortable. And we hate when you walk in the room.
6. … Because they realize other people are more important. You already know what you know. You know your opinions. You know your perspectives and points of view. That stuff isn’t important, because it’s already yours. You can’t learn anything from yourself. But you don’t know what other people know, and everyone, no matter who they are, knows things you don’t know. That makes them a lot more important than you–because they’re people you can learn from.
7. They shine the spotlight on others. No one receives enough praise. No one. Tell people what they did well. Wait, you say you don’t know what they did well? Shame on you–it’s your job to know. It’s your job to find out ahead of time. Not only will people appreciate your praise, they’ll appreciate the fact you care enough to pay attention to what they’re doing.
8. They choose their words. The words you use impact the attitude of others. For example, you don’t have to go to a meeting; you get to go meet with other people. You don’t have to create a presentation for a new client; you get to share cool stuff with other people. We all want to associate with happy, enthusiastic, fulfilled people. The words you choose can help other people feel better about themselves–and make you feel better about yourself, too.
9. They don’t discuss the failings of others… Granted, we all like hearing a little gossip. We all like hearing a little dirt. The problem is, we don’t necessarily like–and we definitely don’t respect–the people who dish that dirt. Don’t laugh at other people. When you do, the people around you wonder if you sometimes laugh at them.
10. …But they readily admit their failings. Incredibly successful people are often assumed to have charisma simply because they’re successful. Their success seems to create a halo effect, almost like a glow. Keyword is seems.
I believe every one of Haden’s tips are true. All you have to do is think of a couple of people you know who would fit this description of “Remarkably Charismatic” and I’m sure you will agree. I know I did. Now armed with this knowledge what are you going to do? You might start with one tip, practice it for a week then pick another, until you have made all 10 a habit. Remember that this has nothing to do with being an introvert or extravert… it’s simply what you do and how you treat others. So put your stuff away and listen.