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How to become charismatic and boost your career

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If you have charisma, your chances of becoming successful increase dramatically. Not only does it help you advance in your career, but also in your personal relationships outside of work.

If you remove the fifth, sixth and last letters from the word charisma, you come up with the word charm. This is one of the key words that define charisma. One of the best definitions of charisma is having a charming and compelling personality or qualities that are attractive and alluring to others.

Many who know they have charisma, learn how to use it effectively to achieve their goals. Those who have charisma but are not aware of it, need to first recognize they have such talent and then use it to their advantage.

Although there may be a relative few people who have natural charisma, it is possible for anyone to become charismatic and thereby enhance their opportunity for a more successful career.

For some, charisma is based on power and beauty. Although it would not hurt to have such qualities, but it’s largely a person’s demeanor that makes him or her charismatic.

If you have a desire to become captivating and charismatic so that you advance in your career and overall goals, here are some ways to achieve it:

1. Reflect energy and confidence. People with charisma have a zest for life and seem filled with energy. They talk with energy, their voices are vibrant and they’re usually ready for action. A positive and up-tempo attitude is the cornerstone for any successful pattern. How you communicate to yourself is indeed a determining factor in how well you can communicate to others. The message you give yourself that motivates you and stimulates you to enthusiasm will transmit itself to others as an appealing degree of confidence and self-assurance. You must activate your own enthusiasm in order to activate others. You should be self-assured, self-confident and appear to know what you are doing and what you are talking about. So, make an effort to have an upbeat demeanor. You will find it to be contagious and people will respond favorably to you and your positive attitude.

2. Be a good and empathic listener. One of the most important skills you can have in your career is the ability to be a good listener, but also an empathic listener. Some people can be simply plain rude when it is their turn to listen. Those who are doing the talking are the first to see this. While at times you may be bored to tears, the person doing the talking has a story to tell and is telling you because they like or respects you. That alone, should require your attention and patience to listen to what they have to say, regardless of how uninterested you may be. In emphatic listening you are listening with your ears and your heart. You listen for feeling, meaning, and behavior. When you listen empathically, you get inside another person’s frame of reference better. Such way of listening not only makes you a better listener, but also likable person.

3. Learn the first names of people and greet them with a friendly hello. People like it when someone has taken the time to learn their first name, it not only says to them you have a great memory, but most importantly it say that you think highly of them because you took time to remember their name. Remembering co-workers names creates a connection with them and sends a message to them they are special and valued in your eyes. One of the easiest ways to remember a person name after you have been introduced to them is to repeat it sparingly in your conversation with them so that it sinks in. Later, after your conversation with that person, you can write it down and make associations and connections with the name to further retain its memory. This way, whether you run into that person the next day or the next month, you would still be able to address them by name and they will admire you for it.

4. Take an interest in others by remembering as much about them as you can. Now that you know your coworkers and associates names, you should also learn more about them. Ask questions about their job, hobbies, families and other interests. By doing this you will be able to convey to them that you find them interesting and important. Many leaders in business and politics are masters at making people feel that who they are and what they do is important. This is an effective way to build charisma.

5. Dress appropriately and in good taste. Remember that appearance can make a difference on how you are perceived. If you look like a leader in your dress and demeanor even before you are, people will perceive you as such sooner. Therefore, always look your best when you are in the public eye. This does not mean that you have to wear a wardrobe of $500 suits and dresses; it does mean to dress well and in good taste as your budget will allow you. Whether your office dress code is business, business-casual, or simply casual, your clothing should be pressed and generally free of wrinkles. Dirty, revealing and torn clothing has no place in the workplace. Even on Fridays when many companies have dress down days, your clothing should still be in good taste and within the guidelines of your company’s dress code. How you dress is a reflection and expression of your personality. Many charismatic leaders reflect confidence. It shows in their faces, the way they walk, and the way they dress. To advance in your career it helps to dress in good taste and look as though you have already moved up the career ladder.

6. Have a sense of humor. Adding humor to your personality can further add to your charisma. Having a sense of humor is about being able to laugh and bring light or see humor in absurdities. However, one does not need to be funny to have a sense of humor. It does not require a repertoire of one-liners. Having a sense of humor means being of good cheer and willing to look at the irony and humor in all of us and in all of life. Using humor properly makes you approachable, likable and intriguing. It also puts others at ease, relieves stress and tension, and increases your likeability. There have been studies that showed that having a sense of humor can enhance your career advancement. Also, according to other studies, the two most desirable traits in leaders were a strong work ethic and a good sense of humor. So, by incorporating humor in your personality you are adding an effective tool that helps you become more charismatic.

7. Become a master of the art of public speaking. As you advance in your career somewhere along the line you will be asked to give a presentation. Whether it’s to a large group in an auditorium or at a staff meeting, you will need to display your ability to speak well before a group. To communicate effectively, you need to have good diction, use proper grammar, have a strong vocabulary, and be able get your message across clearly and effectively. Read often as possible to stay abreast of news and events. Consider joining Toastmasters (http://www.toastmasters.org/) or other speaking organizations that provide you with a forum to practice and enhance your public speaking skills before a live audience.

8. Smile genuinely and often. Many people that are looked upon as charismatic have great smiles. And they don’t necessarily have to be attractive people either. If they have a genuine smile that connects them with others, it’s an effective feature of their charisma. Also, most smiles have a tendency to make us look radiant and attractive. It adds sparkle and brightness to our looks. So, greet everyone you encounter with a smile and return theirs if they happen to give it first. Even if you are not happy with how your teeth look you can always give a closed mouth smile that is just as effective as someone showing their perfect white teeth smile. Usually, when you give a person a smile, you are likely to get a smile back in return. Your power is to send others what you want them to sent back in return. Don’t take your smile for granted, it can be a strong trait to what gives you charisma.

9. Look people in the eyes when you talk to them. If you want to get ahead professionally or personally, you will need to look people in the eyes when conversing with them. When you look people in the eyes while communicating with them, you send a message of sincerity and trust. It also reflects confidence and respect to those you are communicating with. However, when you fail to meet another person’s gaze when speaking, it implies disinterest, lack of confidence, insincerity and shiftiness.

Fortunately, charisma can be learned. By simply practicing and regularly utilizing many of these suggestions you will develop your own style of charisma. Remember that charisma is about your effect on others and it comes not only from what you say and do, but also from what you don’t say and don’t do.

Finally, use these methods not only in the workplace but also in your personal life and watch how both your career and personal relationships propel. When this occurs, you have developed the demeanor and style that makes you charismatic in the eyes of others.

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