This weekend we celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s the day we celebrate romance, often over a romantic dinner with that special someone or where we send flowers and cards to those we would like to become more romantically involved with. In fact, I received a beautiful bunch of long-stemmed red roses on Valentine’s Day 23 years ago from an admirer who became my husband. So what sets one person apart from the others and makes them stand out in a long list of admirers? he he! What is charisma and how do we get it? Is it really an elusive concept and even a characteristic that is necessary?
If you want to stand out at work, in your business or even in your social life, having appeal and charm will set you apart from the rest. Other words to describe charm and charisma are personality, appeal, captivation, allure, fascination and having the X factor or star power. Wow that seems like a tall order and one that us mere mortals can only imagine.
Numerous books, blogs and commentators have over the years shared insights into charisma, what it is and how to get it. Today I’m sharing six quick tips on how to start to charm and stand out yourself.
Pride. Displaying an air of confidence when you walk into a room, meeting or any public situation demonstrates a strong sense of self-esteem. You might not always feel like you are the most charismatic person in the room – in fact you might think I’m too short, tall, big, small, unintelligent, and the list goes on…You are you and you have your own set of accomplishments and strengths. Acknowledge that, remind yourself of past successes and feelings of accomplishment, appreciate the value you bring to others and own your confidence.
Passion. Enthusiasm for what you do, the world around you and being inspired by other people translates into an upbeat, positive person. Who wants to be around a stick-in-the-mud? Your likability factor will increase if you are passionate about life. There’s lots to appreciate after all and enthusiasm is contagious. On a number of occasions, I was lucky enough to attend the Logie Awards – the big TV night of nights in Australia. One time I sat with some young personalities who whinged about, “having to be here”, showing disdain and lack of enthusiasm for the night. Guess where they are now? Nowhere.
Personal Best. Set high standards for yourself and always show the best side of you. Behaviour and how you interact with people goes towards your reputation and personal brand. You want people talking about you – but you want them talking about you for the right reasons. You might be great at your job but if you are painful to deal with no one will like you. Personal best also means looking the part of the stand out professional you are.
Communication. As a former PR professional, I was taught that communication is always two way. Not just broadcasting your opinions and thoughts but tuning in and listening to others. You have to understand what your customers and clients want and need before you can give it to them. Even in just day to day conversation, listen to others, ask questions and tune in to who they are and their interests. Others will find you fascinating if you show how fascinated you are with what they have to say. Former US President, Bill Clinton was renowned for making people feel special. He would speak to people as if no one else was there making that individual out as the most special person in the room. Most personal brand statements about Bill Clinton said he was charismatic.
Circle of influence. I don’t know where the oft repeated expression – you are the sum of the 5 people you spend most time with – came from. However, if you hang out with the “rat pack” or the wrong crowd at school – as Mum used to say – you will end up like them. Who are the leaders and influencers you admire or feel have star power and allure? Where do they congregate and can you be a member of that network? Join in the community of like-minded, influential people where you know you belong.
My final key to unlock your charisma, is to care about others. Showing and demonstrating that you like someone else and respect their thoughts and opinions often means that they will like you in return. Of course it is about being genuine. Have you had the experience where someone has invited you to join them for a drink after work just to get to know you and become friends? Or ever had a bunch of flowers from an admirer and all of a sudden your interest in them is piqued? Sometimes we just need to know people care about us and like us. Not giving to get something in return but because we care.
Read last week’s blog How to Make a Good First Impression
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