SUCCESSFUL people seem to have it all. They secure the best jobs, build the most profitable businesses, earn the highest salaries, and date the most beautiful people.
The irony is that many of them may not be smarter, more educated, or better looking than you. Decades of psychological studies have shown that what truly sets them apart is their personal charisma.
What exactly is charisma? The answer is in its root word ‘charis’, which means gifts or favour. This implies that a charismatic person can easily find favour with people.
Since 2006, I have had the opportunity to interview top executives and sales professionals in key industries like finance, real estate, technology, and healthcare. From the hundreds of hours spent with them through conversations and shadowing— I discovered eight keys that they use to unlock their charisma.
Charismatic people create emotional connections with others naturally. They put others at ease with their sincerity, and attract people through their confidence. They are adept at making small talk and always leave the person feeling like a star after the conversation. The thing that truly brings them closer to others is their ability to establish common ground quickly. They know that people like people who are similar to themselves.
2. Have Presence
Heads turn when a charismatic person enters the room. People listen when they talk. Even their silence carries weight. They have such an effect on others because they stand in their own power. They do not undermine others and they do not let others undermine them. Instead, they see people, regardless of wealth and power, as equals. Unlike the majority, who are driven by acceptance or praises, charismatic people are driven by their passion and purpose—making them special.
Charismatic individuals are keenly aware of their strengths that draw people to them, as well as barriers that jeopardise their relationships with others. They are in total control of their psychological state of mind and are sensitive to people’s thoughts and intentions. This allows them to be at their best and manoeuvre any situation to their advantage.
In the mind of a charming person is this mental image—people walking around with invisible signs around their necks saying: “Make me feel important.” Charismatic people obey these signs and become popular. They see the best in people and are genuinely interested in their well-being. Perhaps that is why whenever they enter a room, the place lights up.
Charismatic people are natural influencers. People are receptive to them as they possess an empathetic ability to see from the perspectives of others. They use compelling stories, vivid pictures, and memorable analogies to make persuasive pitches that tug at the heartstrings of their listeners.
6. Standing Out
You can always single out charismatic individuals in a crowd because they are always doing the unexpected. They dare to be different and are unafraid to stand out. They distinguish themselves by the way they dress, act, and talk. Charismatic people understand that the easiest way to stand out is to be the best at what they do. They apply relentless dedication, determination, and even sacrifice to remain at the top of their game.
Charismatic people know that they are the average of five people that they hang out with. This is why they constantly seek out mentors or successful people who have walked a similar path. Whenever they meet someone new, they ask themselves, “What can I learn from this person?” They enjoy more success than others because of their deep hunger to learn and improve.
8. The Master Key–Altruism
Unlike the majority that has the take-take-take attitude, charismatic people possess a give-give-give attitude. They constantly add value to the people they interact with. To them, the pie is infinitely large and more than enough for everyone. Their instinctive generosity draws people to them, like bees to honey.
With the above eight keys, charisma has now become an acquirable quality. If you want to enjoy the positive results of being charismatic, start applying the keys above to get an unfair advantage over your colleagues and competitors.
Copyright © 2012 Singapore Institute of Management