I recently came across an article on Forbes.com that talked about the characteristics of charismatic people. We all know that one person that makes us think, “What is it about her?”. But oftentimes we don’t even realize that the person who has the most charisma is often studying others just as hard as we are studying them. Forbes lays out 5 key ingredients that will boost your level of charisma and make people remember you whenever you walk into a room.
According to the Forbes list, a charismatic person must be: 1-Self Confident, 2-Tell Great Stories, 3-Conscious of their Body Speak, 4-Make conversation about the other person, and 5-Be a good listener.
When you put all of these genuine characteristics together, you have a great recipe for success. Having brains, but not knowing how to apply them is useless in today’s versatile business environment. Employees AND clients want people who are social beings, and can show a little bit of their humane nature. A person who is more social has a better grasp on what exactly their clients want. Talking to people and really opening up to them opens the door for an extended dialogue that may push the relationship even further. An in depth conversation with a client may unveil a few needs that weren’t initially discussed, and introduce the possibility of a deeper business connection. Whereas a short conversation with little to no personality may only uncover basic needs; leading the client to eventually go elsewhere for other business related needs.
Making conversation about the other person is a great way to further deeper your relationship. People want to know that you care about them. No one wants to have a relationship with a selfish person, whether it is personal or professional. If paying attention to others and actually being interested in their lives doesn’t come naturally to you, try and remind yourself how it would feel if no one asked about you. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and give up a few minutes of your time to ask them about themselves. And as mentioned in the article, Always be a good listener!
Occasionally you may come across a client or potential employer who is less than friendly. Many people may dismiss this for the people being mean or crass, but for some people it’s just not in their nature to automatically open up to everyone without a little coaxing. I had a client once who came back religiously to my place of business but never cracked a smile and never spoke to anyone. Most would assume that he was probably not that nice of a guy. But for some reason, I felt the need to do a little probing. I found out that he was actually a pretty decent person; just not very outgoing. He appreciated the fact that even though he hardly ever uttered a single word, I always took it upon myself to stop what I was doing to ask how his day was going and then WAIT for his response. It showed that I truly cared. I learned to soften my body language a little to make him feel more comfortable talking to me. And I tried, whenever possible to make small talk. Small talk eventually turned into conversations, and conversations eventually turned into funny stories. I will never forget that man, but it was first lesson in professional humility, and I managed to win him over.
Most people who show you their charismatic side are usually born with that gift. However, it is not to say that charisma cannot be learned as well. When you take the blinders off and become less rigid, you may actually find that there is a little charisma inside of you too. You just have to practice and come out of your shell. Once you’ve mastered the art of being charismatic, eventually it becomes second nature. Take the charisma experiment and make it your own; you just may surprise yourself in the long run!