Some lucky people seem to have a magic touch when it comes to persuading people.
But, in reality, persuading people isn’t magic. It’s an art . . . and a science. And it’s easier than you think.
In any given day, who are you trying to persuade to do something?
The answer is nearly everybody you meet.
Maybe you’re trying to sell a product/idea/service. Maybe you’re trying to convince someone that you’re the right person for a job or a relationship.
But here’s the challenge: People have their own needs, desires and agendas.
They are stressed, busy, and insecure. And they make it difficult for you to influence them even if you share the same values.
So, what specific actions can I take to develop my charisma?
1- Be passionate about something
We all love people who are full of excitement and have a passion for something.
You can tell if someone has passion. You can see in their eyes, in their tone of voice, in their body language.
People are drawn to them because, deep down, people want to be passionate about something.
When others see the passion in your eyes, you become more charismatic.
It doesn’t mean everyone will like you, but they’ll respect your conviction and your passion.
Passion is very contagious. Other people will absorb your energy. They will begin to perform better.
How to be passionate about something?
You can increase enthusiasm by learning about your subject.
You cannot be passionate about something if you know nothing about it.
Read books, meet people that can help you learn more, and dedicate your time becoming a master on that skill.
Believe in yourself and in your message.
Experiment with different tasks and topics.
You don’t know whether you like a certain food unless you take the bite.
In every aspect of the life, people love to be lead by courageous people.
When you show confidence in your job, life, then the others will believe in you.
The people we admire are usually the people who know what they want and have the confidence to get it.
The higher your confidence the more charismatic you are.
Sometimes we face difficult situations and we lose our confidence.
Two factors that can make us lose faith are fear and doubt.
You need to make sure your confidence is bigger than your doubts.
Every human being feels the fear. The difference is how you handle and manage the fear.
Confidence comes from experience, practice and patience.
Don’t be afraid of sharing your vulnerabilities. Vulnerability doesn’t make you weak, it makes you accessible.
Know that your vulnerability can be your strength.
Often we think that you can earn respect by never showing weakness. We try to hide mistakes and cover fear.
Here’s a fact. People will forgive you and even try to help you if you’re honest about a mistake.
The reason that makes people angry or disappointed in you is when you do things to avoid telling the truth.
When you’re scared or hurting or humiliated, but you’re still in cover-up mode because you’re afraid of losing another person’s respect, here’s what happens:
You don’t feel understood because they can’t understand you. They don’t have a clue about what’s going on with you.
The person whose respect you’re worried about losing (a parent, a boss, a partner) can’t mirror your distress and understand it. Instead, the person will mirror the attitude you’re using to mask your distress. If you’re using anger to cover up fear, you’ll get angry in return.
When you become vulnerable and find the courage to say, “I’m afraid” or “I don’t know how to go through this”, the other person will mirror your true feelings.
The person will know how bad you feel. As a result, the individual will want to help you get rid of the pain.
Every organization has some type of authority structure. Written and unwritten rules dictate how people react to power and authority.
Managers always assume they have great power, but usually, they have less than they think.
The ability to reward and punish doesn’t make you charismatic.
Understand the authority power which is based on how people perceive your knowledge level and expertise.
This type of authority enables you to influence others. Examples are CEO’s and police officers.
People want to be lead in the right direction by a competent and knowledgeable person
If that person is you, then you have the power and charisma.
When you prove that you are an expert, skilled, or capable, you gain authority power.
When we hear the word self-discipline, our mind goes to all our bad habits.
You can be charismatic without discipline but the lack of self-discipline will slowly erode your ability to influence others.
An old saying is that, in life, you will either be disciplined or disappointed.
It’s easy to watch TV instead of reading, to pick fast food instead of eating a healthy diet.
Lack of self-discipline in your life feeling unmotivated or often depressed is the exact opposite of how a charismatic person feels.
Discipline is a choice we make because the envisioned future is better than our current condition.
What can you do to strengthen self-discipline?
Break your goals into smaller pieces
Visualize what you’re going to get rather than what you’re giving up now
Make sure your goal is really what you want
Prepare yourself mentally that you might have a few setbacks
A perfect example of self-discipline was Thomas Edison.
He tried ten thousand times to develop the electric light bulb. They said he never considered those as failures but as a success- finding things that don’t work.
He was so focused on what he wanted that self-discipline had become a natural part of his life.
6-Respect- Give it to get it
Charisma is all about valuing people. The more respect you give to others, the more influence you have.
Respect doesn’t always come in an instant, sometimes it takes time to build.
A simple way to earn their respect is to be thankful for the things others do for you.
People will always want to talk about one of the two things: themselves or their problems.
If you listen when people tell you about their problems or issues, they will feel you are sympathetic, understanding and respectful.
Treat everyone with respect whether they are the receptionist, the CEO, or the janitor. Ask questions about themselves.
Don’t complain about anything and don’t criticize others for what they say or do.
In short, give respect and be respected, that’s it.
7- Charismatic phrases
These phrases will help you influence, build rapport and strengthen relationships with others.
The first phrase is,“One thing I’ve noticed about you”. This is a very powerful phrase because it shows you’ve found time to observe a unique personality feature.
It is not something that I’m guessing. It is a fact. I have observed and noticed this behaviour in you.
“One thing I’ve noticed about you is how comfortable you are with yourself, most people aren’t like that”.
“One thing I’ve noticed about you is that you inspire confidence in other people”.
“The thing I’ve always admired about you is your focus and vision”.
It shows that it’s not something you randomly noticed today. When you use the word admired the person not only respect them but appreciate them.
You can also use this phrase when someone is being rough on you.
“The thing I’ve always admired about you is that you say exactly what you mean”.
“You know, one thing I’ve always admired about you Anne is that your communication is so direct and clear”.
Now you’ve diffused all the anger. It is very hard for someone to be mean and unkind to someone who is admired.
Be careful when using this phrase you have to be absolutely sincere about it.
The word because- When you’re asking someone to do something for you add the word because and a reason why should they do it.
There was an interesting study done in the 1970’s by the psychology professor at Harvard Ellen Langer.
Langer asked her assistant to break in on a line of people waiting to use the Xerox copy machine.
The assistant said: “Excuse me, can I cut the line to make some copies? Only 60% allowed her.
Then she said: “Excuse me, can I cut the line because I need to make some copies? As if other people weren’t waiting to make copies.
After just adding the word “because”, 94% of the people let the assistant cut the line.
8-The impossibility question
Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos and many many others did what others thought it was impossible. Their problem wasn’t believing it their vision. But, convincing others that it can be done.
The real obstacle is getting your clients/employees/investors or your family to go from “we can’t do it”, to “maybe we can” to “let’s do it.
You can influence sceptic people by just asking only 2 questions:
You- What’s something that would be impossible to do, but if you could do it, would dramatically increase your success?
Other Person- If I could just do……….., but that’s impossible.
You- Okay. What would make it possible?
That’s it, just two questions. Why do these questions work? They move a person from a defensive, excuse making stance into an open, thinking attitude. They make the person picture your vision as a reality.
Ask someone at home or work to name an impossible goal the person would like to accomplish or achieve.
Respond with, “I agree with you. That sounds impossible, so what would make it possible?” Then help the person brainstorm the steps to turn the goal into a reality.
People under pressure tend to exaggerate the problem. They feel like it’s the end of the world. You can calm down others by just saying “Do you really believe that?” in a very calm and straightforward tone.
Now, typically they will respond with something like, “Well, not really, but I am very frustrated about things”.
Then you can respond, “I understand that, but I need to know what the truth is, because if what you say is totally true then we have a serious problem and need to address it.” By this time, they’re in retreat and the power has shifted to you.
But if someone answers it with a firm yes?
If a person is brave enough to answer with a yes, and stick to it, then he probably has some legitimate issues. And you’ll be more productive and happy if you iron those issues out.
Before you worry about solving someone else’s problem, find out if there really is a problem.
Think of someone who often uses hyperbole to make a point. A person that exhausts you with his histrionics. Just let him talk. Then pause for five seconds and say, “Do you really believe that?”
Watch the person backpedal, and then explain all the details of the problem.
10-Be calm in stressful situations
Ability to deal with stressful situations it’s an important key to being a great leader.
Not all personal encounters are stressful. But many are. And these are the ones that can make or break a career or a relationship. Some of them include:
Making a cold call
handling an angry customer
going on a tough job interview
facing a furious lover
dealing with an insolent teen.
All of these can affect your emotions to the extent you can’t think. And when that happens, you lose.
The first and most vital rule about taking control in a stressful situation is:
Get yourself under control first.
Now, which are the mental steps we go through during when dealing with a difficult situation?
Here’s the process:
“Oh F**k” (The reaction phase):What the hell just happened? This is a disaster, I’m screwed. I can’t fix this, it’s all over.
“Oh, God” (The release phase):Oh my God, this is a huge mess and I need to clean this up. Why this stuff always happens to me?
“Oh Well” (The Refocus Stage): I will not let this ruin my life/my career/my day/this relationship. And here is what I need to do right now to make it better.
“OK” (The Reengage Phase): I’m ready to fix this.
The most interesting thing is that even though every crisis seems different to you, your mind treats them all in the same way.
Now, here’s the secret: When you become consciously aware of these stages, you can mentally identify each one. And you can manipulate your emotional response at each stage.
As a result, you can speed this process.
The power of “Oh f**k”
Do not deny that you’re upset or afraid that acknowledge the feeling.
We want to move our brain from panic to logic by putting words on what we’re feeling at each stage.
You can do this silently if you’re in a crowd or out loud if you’re alone. Now it’s not the time to lie to yourself by saying, “it’s okay”.
It’s actually the time to say to yourself, “Oh F*ck,”, “I’m pissed,”, “I’m scared that I might lose this job over this,”.
And this is only the first step, so don’t stick in there.
If you’re in a position where you can get away for a minute or two, do so. If not, do not talk to anyone else during these first few seconds.
You need to focus entirely on acknowledging and working up from your anger or panic.
“Oh God” (The Release Phase)
After you admit the powerful emotion, you’re feeling. Breathe deeply and slowly through your nose. Keep doing this as long it takes to let it go.
“Oh Well” (The Refocusing Phase)
Start to think of what you can do to control the damage and make the best of the situation.
“OK” (The Re-engaging Phase)
If you’ve had your eyes closed up to now, open them. Then do what you need to do.
Look, you can’t solve a crisis in two minutes. But you can go through from the “panic mode” to “solution mode” faster. Consequently, you’ll say the right things and avoid saying the wrong ones.