For a moment, think about the relationships you enjoy most in life. They have that special quality that draws you to them. Chances are, those people have one thing in common, they have charisma. Charisma is that powerful personal quality that gives an individual influence over people. Charismatic people make you laugh and you are drawn to their ideas.
Charisma is more than charm, or even wit. It's a highly effective quality that can boost your effectiveness at work. And I believe anyone can learn how to use charisma in the workplace to engage colleagues and increase collaboration. Being charismatic is a skill we all need, and contrary to popular belief, it has less to do with your personality and more to do with how you relate to others. Here are 5 ways to boost your charisma and your career.
1. Understand that Charisma isn't just about you, it’s about how you make other people feel.
Let’s explore what that means. Charismatic people engage others on a deeper level because they establish connection. They focus on others rather than on themselves. They ask questions and remember things about people lives. They put people at ease because they are comfortable with themselves. Charismatic people remember and use people’s names when they address them. There are two powerful reasons. Reason number one: It communicates that you care and are paying attention enough to know who they are. Don’t underestimate how important that is! Reason number two: Scientists have discovered that hearing one’s own name stimulates the brain in a way that activates a sense of self-worth and value. Reason enough to start brushing up on the name game? I think so.
2. Be expressive with your body language.
Have you noticed that the best storytellers and public speakers always use their hands when they communicate? If not, you’ll definitely notice it next time you watch a video of your favorite comedian or a TED talk by a captivating speaker. Good communicators use their whole body to tell a story effectively. While you’re in casual conversation, start using your hands more expressively to capture the emotion behind your words. Chances are, people will love it.
3. Encourage conversation.
When you sense that a person is struggling to relate to others in a room or is new to a specific social group, there’s nothing better you can do than to reach out to them in conversation with some basic questions. This one simple gesture can feel like a lifesaver in a room full of people who are unfamiliar. Extend the favor of having a conversation first. Show genuine interest and ask open-ended follow-up questions. You will both be surprised at what you learn, and the continued connection you’ll possess with that person moving forward may serve you well in the future.
4. Express some humor.
Life is certainly full of tough and serious moments, which is reason enough to show some lightheartedness in your daily tasks. Find out what strikes your coworker’s funny bone and use it to get them to loosen up a little and laugh. Laughing is proven to relieve stress and build solidarity, which is all the more reason to do it frequently. Being around someone who can crack a joke makes everyone feel a little more comfortable and relaxed. This is also an easy way to build rapport with a coworker you’ve been having a hard time relating to or understanding.
5. Don't be afraid to express emotion.
There’s nothing worse than sharing a story with someone who fails to react with a socially appropriate response, like concern, (if what you share is serious) or joy (if what you share is celebratory). If emotional intelligence doesn’t come second nature to you, you can learn the cues that tell you when someone is hoping for an empathetic response, and meet them in that moment with an affirmation that you care about what they have shared. Showing empathy is one of the top ways we demonstrate care for others, and with a little practice, it will carry us all the way to being seen as a charismatic person by our peers.
Charismatic people not only enjoy the benefits of being more effective with people —but have the confidence to move forward in their work. There’s no better feeling than that!
To your excellence in practicing genuine charisma,