Charm is a magic ingredient that makes people want to pay more attention to you. Charm is compelling and you don’t have to be a flaming extrovert to leverage that latent charm in your communication toolbox.
Some people are born with that sparkle, but anyone can learn to be more charming, even the most introverted. I learned the power of charm from my grandmother, who, even at age 95, was never without a gentleman caller. She has enjoyed quite the collection of marriage proposals and an enviable social life through the years!
Charming people enjoy more economic and romantic success. Charm is tricky because it makes you a more compelling communicator, not necessarily a person of integrity, or even competent. This is why some people are suspicious of becoming more charming, but it’s actually something you can turn off and on, and use to make your world a better place.
Broken down, charm requires 3 essential elements: presence, warmth and confidence.
You may have grown up with powerful charm. (If so, stop reading now.) The good news is that anyone can become more charming (I’ve done it myself and helped many introverted clients do so!) with a few tiny changes in how you think and present yourself.
Here are 21 Charm Triggers you can use right now. If you keep at it, you will definitely become more effective and influential. You might even become president!
1. Relax. Stress and charm are mutually-exclusive properties. This is the most important item on this list. You must learn to be relaxed, even when your flight is late, the traffic is stopped and you’re over budget. Oh, and there’s a pandemic in the air.
2. Stand up straight and tall. (On a Zoom call, sit up straight and tall.)
3. Be helpful.
4. Dress sharp, but be comfortable.
5. Be more playful. This requires a dose of vulnerability (as in what if I come across as stupid?) Vulnerability is the result of confidence. Even if your joke doesn’t land, the fact that you tried makes you more charming. Trust me, I have had many jokes fall harder than rocks.
6. Act like you’re having a good time. Miraculously, if you do this, you actually will have a better time.
8. Use “yes, and” statements in conversation. Simply affirm what is said, and add your perspective.
9. Observe closely. Notice everything going on around you.
10. Handle minor physical discomfort like heat and humidity. It’s inevitable and normally derails people. Learn to manage different types of discomfort.
11. Amplify the good in others. (See #9)
12. Appreciate what you have.
13. Visualize your desired outcomes (the best ones possible!) before the meeting or interview. Every conversation can yield a dividend, and one of the best dividends is leaving people better off than they were before.
14. Listen confidence-boosting music. (Or an inspiring commencement address.)
15. Be brief. Brevity is sexy (and charming.)
16. Ask a question.
17. Make eye contact. On video, that means looking into the camera, not the screen.
18. Assume positive intent (even if you’re certain that is not the case.)
19. Be compassionate with yourself when you make mistakes. Learn the lesson and move on. This practice makes you more compelling.
Just this past Saturday at Mass, the priest encouraged people to respond to their inner critic with a “Get thee behind me, Satan.”
20. Recall a pleasant memory, a situation where you had so much fun or things went really well for you.
21. Bring to mind the most charming person you know. Now imagine that person is YOU.
Charm makes life better. If you want support on your path to be more charming, let’s talk!