Have you ever met someone with real charisma? As soon as they walk in a room, they have a presence. People know they’re there.
Rock stars and actors often have it, and many self-made millionaires do too. Charisma and real success are almost synonymous with each other. If people generally like you, then it’s like living life on easy mode.
True charisma is very difficult – or even impossible – to learn. Often it comes attached to classical good looks, money, and the right type of upbringing. Many of us lack these things.
But there are easy ways you can make yourself more likeable. So while we’re not saying you’ll become Angelina Jolie or Barack Obama , we can level you up very quickly with a few simple tips …
If you’re looking for your perfect job, then being more likeable will help you to excel at interview. It’s not always the most qualified candidate who gets hired. Sometimes it’s just the person the interviewer happened to most get on with.
Even when working with a recruitment agency, it’s important to make a good impression. This will ensure that you get introduced to their best clients.
1. Assure people you’re not ‘that person’
You know the one. Social limpets who cling on to their target even after the conversation goes downhill. People who don’t know how or when to walk away. It’s awkward for everyone, and people fear these interactions.
But there’s an easy trick that lets you assuage these fears almost immediately …
How would you feel if someone came up to you and said something like:
“Hey, I’m just on my way over there, but I noticed that you’re from Acme Widgets, and I wanted to quickly ask you … ”
Isn’t that a nice way of putting it? If you get on like a house on fire then you can still chat for hours, but there’s no pressure. Any hint of an awkward silence, and the person can bail without hurting anyone’s feelings.
So our number one tip is to establish time constraints for new social interactions.
2. Ask, don’t tell
A golden rule of conversation is to ask questions. When you ask people about themselves and show you’re interested (see below), they like you a whole lot more.
At the same time, you don’t want to be breaking someone’s flow every five seconds to ask them something. So capitalise on this. When the conversation reaches a natural lull, rewind it a bit.
If you say something like:
“So, you were talking before about working in Italy, and I’d be really interested to know … ”
By taking the conversation back a step, you show them that you were actually paying attention. Way too many people think that being a ‘good listener’ is all about nodding your head while glazing over.
3. Strike a pose
Although it’s not a substitute for actual conversation, body language is important. Remember to smile, nod, and look people in the eye. Not too much though. Again, you don’t want to be ‘that person’.
If you feel like you might be staring someone out, then a great trick is to look at their mouth. Alternating between the two things shows that you’re interested, without creeping anyone out.
There are many, many articles written on body language and how you can mirror it – and this can be a great idea. But a lesser-known technique is ‘power posing‘.
It may seem a little silly at first, but power posing can provide a massive boost to your confidence levels. And people love a confident person.
4. Ask for help
When you ask people questions, you needn’t limit the subject to their life or experience. In fact, once you’ve found out a bit about a person, it can be a great idea to ask them for their help and opinion on something.
Picture it. If someone you were talking to asked you something like:
“I’ve got this problem with something I’m designing at work. You sound like you might be the perfect person to talk to about it – any ideas?”
We bet you’d be pretty happy they asked. Giving people a bit of an ego boost is seldom a bad thing. By asking for help, you’re showing that you think they’re equal to or above – rather than below – you.
Want to know the secret to being a rock star? Making other people feel like a rock star …
5. Make it natural
One rule that applies to each of the four above is that you should come across in a natural manner. Notice that we say ‘make it natural’, rather than ‘make it seem natural’.
All the questions you ask; all the body language you put across, should be natural. And there’s only one way to do this. Practice.
So where do you start? Well, a good way to begin is to think of a role model that you’d like to emulate and put yourself in their shoes. What would they do in this situation?
Once you put yourself in a role in this manner, you’ll begin to find the whole process easier. It’ll separate you from your normal state and put you into one where you’ll be able to mix things up a bit.
Taken on their own, each of these techniques might help you in some small way to be more likeable. But put them together and you’re going to see some serious effect.
Some (like remembering to smile) are super simple, but easy to forget in the heat of the moment. Other ideas might be new to you. But the key to everything here is practice.
Get out there and network. Meet people. The more you do it, the more you’ll learn. Do it the right way, and you’ll become more and more likeable. You’ll also find it more easy to spot people you’d like to work with.
Any questions? Let us know below.
About the author:
Matt Atkinson is a content writer with a PhD in Communication Studies. He loves to write about how people can better themselves and be happier.