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7 Qualities of the Most Charming People

Charisma makes you likable. Do you have it?

You know the guy. He’s poised. He’s confident. And when he speaks to people, it’s in a strong measured voice, a relaxed tone and his words are well-chosen. Even his classy but understated appearance seems to fixate everyone around him.

But it’s not what he’s saying or how he looks. It’s his whole being.

As his voice and gestures indicate he’s nearly finished speaking, you feel inspired by not only his ideas but your own ideas now budding from this place of emotion and passion.

This guy has it! But what is it? What do these personalities have that can inspire you and draw you to them? Is it speaking well or being socially adroit or projecting an attractive, exciting image? Actually, it’s all of that—and more.

It’s charisma. And we all know charisma when we see it, even if it’s sometimes hard to pinpoint exactly why. But here’s my definition: Charisma is the ability to positively influence others by connecting with them physically, emotionally and intellectually.

It’s what makes people like you and enjoy being around you… even when they don’t know much about you.

But contrary to popular wisdom, charisma is not something you’re born with, like having blue eyes or brown hair. Instead, I think our personalities consist, let’s say, of a series of containers, like cups or glasses. Some are nearly empty, some brimming, yet others are partially filled to varying degrees. Together they constitute our potential charisma.

Here, as I see them, are the seven qualities of a person with great charisma:

1. They carry themselves well. Did you know you unconsciously send out signals to others? It’s your silent message. Maybe you look them right in the eye, or maybe you stare at your shoes when you talk. Perhaps you slump your shoulders, or maybe you square them assertively. You might smile naturally, or maybe you keep a straight face. All these shape your image.

2. They are persuasive. Everyone understands your message because charismatic people can distill complex ideas into simple messages.

3. They are smooth talkers. You may have a zillion terrific ideas, but who will know if you can’t articulate them? You have an innate ability to speak well and communicate.

4. They are good listeners. Rarely taught and infrequently practiced, listening is nonetheless a key to communicating and making others feel special in your presence.

5. They are aware of space and time. Again, though it’s often overlooked, use of spatial and temporal territories can make or break relationships.

6. They easily adapt to others. Building rapport means understanding other people’s personalities, then adapting your own behavior to increase compatibility.

7. They have great ideas. Regardless of how strong and persuasive a speaker you are, how adept you are at connecting with others or how well you listen, you’ve still got to have something to say… or you’ll just be an empty suit.

Learning to improve your charisma is more important than ever—especially for leaders. But why? Because our expectations have risen. We’ve come to demand more from people than mere competence. We don’t readily accept those who squirm, stumble over their words and don’t quite look us in the eye.

In this era of “empowerment,” when empathy and support are revered, charismatic people stand out because they’re communicators who are able to see things from another’s perspective and, thus, continually seek to find the common ground.

Those with personal magnetism, or charisma, are usually self-confident optimists. Viewing almost all problems as solvable—focusing on desired results rather than possible failures—helps encourage people to step forward and convert fear into challenge.

If you develop your charisma, you’re likely to do well in all aspects of life. Because, on several different levels, you’ll better connect with people. By definition, the charismatic person is more other-directed, more empathic. And that gives them more personal power, makes them more human—a big plus for anybody.

Empathy also goes hand in hand with emotional intelligence. Check out the 7 qualities of people with high EI—do you have the traits that define it?

8 Ways to Be a More Confident Person

Because there’s power in self-confidence. Here’s how to get it.

Look at yourself. Who do you see? Superhero, muscles bulging, cape flying—ready to conquer the world? No? If you don’t believe you can conquer the world, then there’s no way you ever will.

You might not be superhuman, but you can combat the villain of low self-esteem. How? We asked the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), “What is one way someone can build their self-confidence, personally and professionally?” for answers.

Here are their suggestions for a boost:

1. Strengthen your mind.

Self-confidence is a state of mind that can be achieved through intentional action. Allotting time to nurture your mind, body and spirit (preferably one hour a day) can be done in a variety of ways. I prefer to read, exercise and meditate in the morning. If you’re not taking time for yourself, then you’re allowing someone or something to shape your view of the world.

—Dustin Cucciarre, BryghtAds Inc.

2. Discard the negative thoughts you don’t need.

A whole new branch of psychology is dedicated to mindfulness, but it boils down to this: Negative thoughts and insecurities pop up like pimples. And, like pimples, picking at them—even if you mean to discredit and burst that negative bubble—ultimately makes it worse. So, mindfulness practice teaches you to treat thoughts as tools. Use and strengthen the ones you need; discard the ones you don’t.

—Manpreet Singh, TalkLocal

3. Live a lifestyle of personal growth.

Putting yourself into courses or professional relationships that force you to grow ensures that you’re always expanding, which in turn generates confidence and humility. From therapeutic programs to leadership programs to physical programs, committing to this kind of regular growth and showing up and being fully present are the keys to confidence.

—Corey Blake, Round Table Companies

4. Learn about impostor syndrome.

Many professionals will at some point experience a psychological phenomenon known as imposter syndrome, complete with feelings of inadequacy and a fear that everything accomplished to date has been through sheer luck. To overcome this, learn to internalize accomplishments. Peer groups are a great place to talk it out and build confidence.

—Joel Holland, Video Blocks

5. Dress for success.

No matter what level of business you’re in, it’s important to dress for the client you want, rather than the client you have. There’s this idea of working from home in PJs. The most successful people get up early and dress like they’re off for a day at the office, and it’s reflected in their attitude. When you look good, you feel good and you’re more confident, too.

—Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

6. Take an improv class.

Improv classes make you think on your toes in front of an audience. Being on stage helps grow your confidence; being in front of crowds teaches you how to think and react quickly—all things that translate well to a boardroom or public speaking opportunity.

—Brooke Bergman, Allied Business Network Inc.

7. Produce a high-quality personal brand.

I believe that a key component to building self-confidence is in publicly building one’s own brand. This can be done through the creation of high-quality content like blog posts, e-books, podcasts or video content. Even if it doesn’t receive much traction initially, the fact that you have a body of work that you are proud to refer others to can make a big difference in your self-confidence.

—Joshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets, Inc.

8. Recognize your value outside of your work.

Your self-confidence needs to be rooted in who you are completely outside of your success in business. So find ways to get connected with yourself and grow. Perhaps volunteer, do pro-bono work, meditate, work out, read, hang out with friends. Whatever it takes for you to see your value regardless of how well [you’re doing professionally].

—Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40 / Finance Whiz Kids

So, look again. Is your cape flying?

Your sense of self-worth is integral to achieving success. Find out how to find your true value in a world of material success.


Words of Wisdom from a Father