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How To Be Charismatic
By Sean Stevenson – Latest Revision January 3rd, 2021
Charisma is often touted as being extremely important for effective leadership.
Few achieve success in business or life, without first developing charisma.
In business, charisma is one of the most highly sought-after qualities an individual can possess.
Despite all of this, what constitutes charisma is often a discussion left on the backburner.
Like any life skill, charisma can be learned and actively improved upon.
In this guide, I will discuss the principles of charisma. Moreover, I will teach you to master this skill for use in both business and normal life.
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Learning How To Be Charismatic
Have you ever met someone who simply exuded a natural aura that made you feel important by just talking to them? Some charismatic people can simply light up a discussion or an entire room just by being present.
These individuals seem naturally capable of speaking openly with others and gaining a positive reaction. The bottom line being, they make people feel good about themselves.
Often from outward appearances, these individuals don’t even have to try hard to build great relationships. It just seems natural.
Yet, nobody is born charismatic. They may have some natural tendencies or inclinations towards being able to speak easily with others, true. However, charisma is a skill, not something you are born with.
To be charismatic, you must practice whenever the opportunity presents itself. It takes commitment and years of study to fully master.
Fortunately, if you want to learn how to influence others and build great relationships of your own, there’s good news for you! Charisma is something you can learn and even improve upon. With time and dedication, you can easily become the person that everyone wants to be around.
Charisma has little to do with success, but it has everything to do with how you behave around others.
Here is how you can easily become more charismatic, using these simple steps:
1. Maintain Eye Contact
This one should be obvious, but for most people it certainly is not. When people are engaged in conversation, they are often glancing around distractedly. You can observe this easily the next time your out in public. Try it. You will see it’s true.
By not maintaining eye contact with the person you are speaking to, the conversation will suffer. Whatever is being discussed will slowly start to fade, because at least one party involved is not actively trying to hold the conversation in a meaningful way.
Most likely, both parties will barely remember what was said. This is because while we are hardwired to be social, only memorable details of a given conversation tend to stay with us afterwards.
To be charismatic, you must not only hold them with your wordplay, but also the eagerness of your expression. Gripping them with your eyes is key to all of this. It shows you are engaged in what is being said, and that you would like the conversation to continue.
To hold eye contact effectively does not mean staring at someone wide-eyed (that might make them worry there’s something wrong with you). Holding them to a heightened level of engagement however, does come by maintaining your smile and a slight eagerness as you maintain your eye contact.
You should only look away if the focus of your conversation demands it (ex: If you are both pointing to an object or something else that requires your attention). Avoid staring at the floor or the sky (yes people do this) as it will give the other person the impression your interest is waning.
2. Don’t Get Distracted
It’s incredible how many people will stare at their phone while carrying on a conversation. Unless you want the person to go away, certainly do not do this. As soon as you focus on a screen, your ability to converse with someone else will diminish rapidly. Moreover, you will appear rude.
I have literally watched business meetings collapse due to this exact type of behavior. The owner was crushed, the potential partners alienated, all because someone decided to lose themself in their phone.
Everyone was awkward for the rest of the day knowing full-well that the deal was never going to happen. That’s how important it is to never lose your focus, not even for a second.
Always make sure that the people your dealing with feel welcome, and that they have your full attention at all times!
3. Let Them Do Most of the Talking
People often forget that talking is just one tool in your arsenal for carrying on an effective conversation with another human being.
Smiling, nodding, frowning, or other non-verbal responses, are all gestures that can be even more effective than speaking aloud. Moreover, by letting someone speak, you’re showing them you value their input.
Decide to speak only when they queue you to do so, or outright ask for your opinion. In this way, you are making the conversation about them. Not only does this make them like you more, it also means that they’re the one doing all the heavy-lifting. Meanwhile, you’re doing relatively little, and likely gaining their approval (and perhaps some important information too!).
As a side note, try to think of the best time to speak as a time when you have something crucial to say. That is, something that the other person would find most important to know.
4. Give First, Without Expecting to Gain
Always focus on what you can provide others. It will not only make you appear genuine, it will put people at ease knowing you have their best interests at heart.
If you do the opposite, and try to get things out of people immediately, they will become defensive. Moreover, you will be showing that your only concern is for yourself.
The key is to focus on the needs of others. After their worries or requirements have been addressed, they will be far more willing to help you if they can.
5. Self-Importance is a Great Way to Sabotage Yourself
If you tend to act pretentious or with disdain towards others, they will be unlikely to deal with you in a meaningful way.
Successful people are always humble and kind. This is because they recognize that most people aren’t impressed by attitude. What impresses most are actual results and a fulfilling purpose in life. The moment you can show others a better path forward with kindness, is the moment they’ll begin to respect your every word.
6. Always Be Keen to Learn From Others
The truth about each of us is that we already know what we know. There is little you can learn from yourself; what you need to learn exists in other people.
By prioritizing learning from others and making it your passion, you will be setting yourself up for a life of fulfillment.
Charisma comes by being genuinely interested in the words of others, not by hearing yourself talk. No matter how charismatic you are, you cannot fake your interest. People will catch on if you are not being genuine.
7. Shower Others With Praise and Direct Attention Towards Them
Despite the fact that everyone wants it, praise is a rare thing. Telling someone that they did something well will make them remember you indefinitely.
Even if it’s a small thing, by praising a person’s efforts you will have gained their undivided attention. This is a precious commodity in business and life. Most of us have our attention divided constantly.
If you can’t think of something someone has done well, then you have to find out ahead of time.
A great idea would be to do so before an important meeting. That way, you will be well-equipped to praise someone in front of everyone else. This not only ingratiates that person to you, but it also casts a good light on your person for being brave enough to offer someone a compliment publicly.
Praising others is an easy and great way to show others that you pay attention to what they do and who they are.
8. Be Selective Of Your Attitude
Wordplay is something we can all learn, but so too are the attitudes we harbor towards our environment.
Act with thankful privilege towards everything you do in your life, and you will be creating a positive trend that can carry you forward.
For example, you don’t have to learn something new, you are being given the privilege to learn a new skill that will benefit you in life. You don’t have to go to the management meeting, you’re being offered insider knowledge on the affairs that directly impact your livelihood.
Choosing to remain positive in this way will make others associate you as someone who is always willing and eager to get things done. They will come to rely on you and believe that you’re someone with their best interests at heart. Likely, they will praise you for it too.
People who act in this positive way, who work hard, and reinforce positivity in others, are often considered for promotions. Just another thing to consider, should you wish to rise higher in the ranks someday.
9. Admit When You’re Wrong
Whenever you make a mistake, own up to it immediately.
Be sure to share the lessons you learned, and how you came to those conclusions. Oftentimes, people are willing to help others and share their own lessons with those who own up to their mistakes. It only stands to benefit you in the long run.
If someone berates you for a mistake, never lash out. Simply reassure them that you have learned from your error.
The ideal response is to laugh at yourself. People will like you a great deal for this. They will see you as someone who tries hard but does not take themself too seriously. This is the exact type of person most people want to be around. Someone who is both hard-working, witty, and humorous.
10. Never Speak of the Misgivings or Failures of Others
Gossip is everywhere. There is little you can do to escape it.
While hearing the latest gossip may prove unavoidable, you certainly don not want to be contributing to it. People never respect someone who gossips. It inevitably makes that person appear negative towards others, as they list off failures or moments that led to embarrassment.
A person who gossips will always be associated with that level of negativity. Often, others will have a hard time trusting someone who acts two-faced.
Try to never laugh or engage with behavior that centers around rumor. Otherwise, people around you may begin to wonder what you say about them when they are not around to hear it.
Conclusion – How to be Charismatic
Charisma is something anyone can attain. Most people simply do not try, however, which is a sad thing to contemplate.
By practicing these techniques, you will be developing yourself for future success. Just remember that it takes time to fully master, so there is no shame in stumbling from time to time. Remember, part of learning to be charismatic involves predetermining a best course of interaction with others! So, if you fail initially, try planning more thoroughly ahead of time.
Speech craft is often associated as a main component of charisma. However, charisma is really far more diversified than that.
By learning to use elements of charisma in tandem, you can influence better outcomes, and develop strong foundational relationships. These can help you reach a new level in your career or personal life, depending on how you use them.
To be the best, you must practice consistently. Leadership exercises are a highly actionable means of improving your organization’s capabilities. Think of them as a series of drills, or a form of training.
The ability to delegate effectively and influence the outcome is a prerequisite for managing others in a meaningful way. Elements of leading are not complicated, though they are a skill that requires practice like any other.