If you’ve ever met someone that was very likable but you didn’t exactly know why then you have seen charisma in action. It’s the magic essence of networking, building a following, and being well-liked. At the end of the day, people are more likely to follow the lead of those they like being around.
Charisma can certainly feel like either A) You have it or you don’t or B) You manufacture it and it’s as fake as can be. You can see examples of this on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
The good news is that developing charisma is just like any other skill. It can be learned and grown if done so in the right way.
Show good presence
Perhaps the most important piece of charisma is having a good presence…and unfortunately, it’s harder than ever. The saturation of mobile phones has been a killer distraction to having a great presence at the moment. Here is a great video that shows how phones distract you from being in the moment with others. The silver lining is that great presence makes you stand more than ever.
Put away your phone. Keep it in your bag or pocket so that it doesn’t tempt you. Keep it off the table at meals and in meetings.
Show great body language. (PTB Ep 186) Remember the power of your body language. Show others that you are fully engaged with them by your body. Make great eye contact and use your active listening skills to show them that you are with them.
Wear something comfortable. Clothing distractions can be the worst. Make sure that you are comfortable with what you are wearing. You don’t want to be worrying about sweat stains, smells, wondering if your zipper is up, etc while you are engaged in conversation.
Ask clarifying and follow-up questions. This shows that you are genuinely interested in the conversation. The more that the other person has the spotlight in the conversation the better.
Carry great confidence
While presence is all about paying good attention to others, confidence is all about yourself. It may require you to step out of your comfort zone a bit so that you can gain a good level of confidence in the future. Be brave and try some of these techniques.
Get your mind right. The biggest battle of confidence is in your brain. Build your self-assurance to build up your confidence. When you are confident in yourself, others will be confident in you as well.
Manage your nerves. You’ll notice that great speakers and people with high levels of charisma aren’t overwhelmed by the scale of their audience or the impact of the situation that they are in. I used to jump around get my blood going before I got on stage as a musician to get the nerves out. Utilize whatever outlet works best for you.
Become physically fit. I see this the most in my own life. When I’m working out and have trimmed down, I feel great….unstoppable even. On the flip side, when I’ve taken a break and focus more on other items, I feel my confidence take a hit.
Dress up. Dressing nice and avoiding sloppy clothes make you feel more confident and it shows others that you know what you are talking about. (Even if you don’t)
Strong body language helps here too. It can help your presence and confidence in the room.
Be endearing and warm towards others
Your level of endearment and warmth is the final piece of the charisma puzzle.
Practice gratitude and show appreciation towards others. People see when you are being friendly and courteous to them. They appreciate it when you show grace, gratitude, and care in them.
Think of yourself as a host. Even if it’s not your event carry yourself like you are the host. It puts your actions into a very giving and friendly perspective. This mindset will also put other people at ease as you make introductions, anticipate needs etc.
Lean into the power of your voice. (EP 202) Simply smiling while you talk will go along way here. Understand what voice you are using and maximize the effort to come across as friendly. Softer, warmer tones work great.
Nail the handshake. Give a good handshake, look them the eye, smile and give thanks or appreciation as you leave the conversation.
The best leaders are confident, approachable, and friendly. Build your level of charisma to put people at ease, to draw people to you, and to create a lasting impression.
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sincere enthusiasm in what you do is both compelling and attractive to others. Your level of enthusiasm is like a magnet, the stronger it is, the more that you will draw in. Elon Musk is a great example of an enthusiastic leader. Jim Cantrell, a founding member of the Space X team, said it was Elon’s level of enthusiasm that got the space company up and going more than Musk’s intelligence and money.
So how do we show our enthusiasm in a sincere and authentic way? If real enthusiasm attracts then manufactured or fake enthusiasm pushes people away. It’s fairly easy for people to spot whether you are being true or are putting on a face. Keeping it real is all about fueling yourself with the right influencers and perspective.
It’s important to get the right fuel in the tank. Here are some tips to fill up the right way.
Focus on giving out A.R.E. (EP 200). Lee talked about how appreciation, respect, and encouragement helps your team strive. It also helps you stay in a good mindset and maintain enthusiasm in your role.
Find other enthusiastic people. Enthusiasm is contagious. Put other enthusiastic people in your life to encourage you and inspire you to maintain a high level of energy.
Stay organized. Great time management, a clean desk, and an empty inbox keep you from being distracted and overwhelmed by the day ahead.
Eat well. Healthy and nutritious food is always a good option to keep yourself mentally sharp.
Positivity lists. Making lists of things that you are thankful for or what makes you happy helps keep things in the proper perspective. My family made thankful notes every week in 2019 that we read at the end of the year.
Let go of the anchors
Several things in your life can hold back and destroy your enthusiasm. Create room for your enthusiasm to grow by clearing these things out of your life:
Drop the pessimism. The total value of pessimism is 0. Why hold on to it?
Temper sarcasm. I enjoy a good, witty sarcastic statement like the next person. Too much can lead to pessimism and a lack of energy.
Don’t be a complainer. Focus on positive thoughts and the silver lining.
Can you have too much?
I don’t think it’s possible to have too much enthusiasm. I do think, however, that it’s important to understand the temperament of the room and not come off as too over the top. Let’s say the energy of a normal circle of friends having a conversation is 5/10. There is small talk and some laughs, but nothing crazy. You come into a group at a 9/10 with super high energy and hype. It’s likely going to be offputting to some, if not all, of the people in the group.
Have your enthusiasm and harness the power if needed.
Sincere enthusiasm for life and work can attract powerful and helpful allies to your side. You can inspire others to do the impossible…. like launching your car into space. Stay positive and enthusiastic as you conquer the day.
We officially crossed the halfway point in the year. How is the year going for you? Are you on track for the goals that you set out for yourself? Have the goals already been thrown out the window and you are in survival mode? It’s a great time to take a moment and look at what we need to adjust for the rest of the year.
What needs a tweak or an overhaul and what do you need to have a funeral for in order to have a productive 2nd half?
What needs just a facelift?
Sometimes we are on track (or just a hair off) of where we would like to be in our personal goals, business models and/or in our relationships. Evaluate important areas of your business and personal life. Is there anything that you’d give yourself a B+ in? Those areas are perfect examples of what could use a little tweak to take it over the top. More than likely, it will just take a little more consistency and accountability to get there.
Tips to successfully make small adjustments
Be intentional in scheduling the activity on your calendar.
Ask others to hold you accountable in the area identified.
Set reminders on your phone.
Consider getting up earlier to give you more space in your schedule and routine.
What needs an overhaul?
In assessing the key parts of your professional and personal life, there may be things that need to be overhauled or rebuilt from the ground up. Don’t be hard on yourself or your team that this needs to take place; instead, learn about what led to this point and use that learning to take a significantly different approach.
Tips to succeed in making overhauls
Bring in help to give you a different perspective and expertise on the issue or challenge.
Use the 5 Whys Technique to determine the root cause of the need for change.
Drop the talk and take the action towards behavior change.
Let go of the thought process, “It’s always been done this way.”
Be sure that the identified area that needs to be overhauled actually gets it. In 2013 Yahoo! unveiled its new logo proclaiming at the time, “This represents a significant evolution of the logo. (The purple) is far richer, deeper.” As you can see, the change was far less of an overhaul and more of a font change and slight color tweak. The design community was not impressed. They are currently on their third design in 10 years.
Go all-in on your overhaul and don’t stop short by just tweaking the issue. Just as in Yahoo!’s case, you’ll end back up at the drawing board.
What needs a funeral?
I don’t think I’ve met anyone that loves going to funerals. They aren’t fun for obvious reasons. Some things in your life may need that funeral so that you can finish the year in a healthy way. You may need to cut ties with a “friend” or someone close to you.
The funeral could be for a habit or other activity in your life that drags you down. Be unapologetic and put it to rest. More than likely your mind and body have been screaming at you for attention in this area.
Tips to successful funerals
Fully commit to making the drastic changes necessary and then do it. Do not go back.
Establish new activities, routines, and habits to replace the old ones. Remember it takes 66 reps of activity before it changes your neural links and becomes a habit.
Find a true accountability partner to help you transition well.
Take time to morn if necessary and reward yourself as you take on a new journey.
Make the necessary changes in your life, both big and small, to have a great back half of the year.