How to Charm Everyone,
Even Your Future Boss

See also: Developing Charisma

While everyone has some semblance of charm, not many people understand how to harness it so that they are able to charm everyone they meet.

When we are nervous or pressured to perform well or impress, we often lose our charming self and instead turn into a try-hard who might or might not come off as being awkward or cringy.

Take for instance, being at an interview or meeting someone you like for a first date, you might want to say things or do things that you think will make them think highly of you. However, this is not necessary as it would come off as staged, disingenuous and neither of you will find it enjoyable. Therefore, the first thing you should do is to make sure that you enjoy what you are doing.

Reframe your mindset and go into that interview with the determination not to please, but the passion to show. If you’re someone who is passionate about numbers and you’re applying for a job as an accountant, show them just how much numbers mean to you. Crunch them hard because passion is contagious. When people see how much you enjoy doing something, they will enjoy watching you, which gives you an edge over them because now you’re in the spotlight and doing something you’re good at. Think about a street performer: they are showcasing the skills that they are confident in and it draws a crowd because people like to be wowed. When you’re able to unleash your passion, you’ve accomplished half the battle.

Don’t try to manipulate the situation but try to manipulate yourself. If you’re fraught with nerves, remind yourself that you have something to bring to the table. At that interview, you can allow the interviewer to dictate your direction or you can participate and engage with them in regards to your own abilities. If you allow yourself to think that you are being interviewed, you’ll subject yourself to being controlled in that situation rather than being someone in control. Seize that control by showing them that you can hold your own.

According to Hugh Jackman, he often shows up to auditions and talks to the casting director as though they are discussing the role. He shares his method for reframing the situation in his mind, “I used to always go into an audition as though it were a rehearsal. If they said ‘I think you should sit down’ I would say ‘you know, I think the character would stand,’” this gives the impression that not only are you confident in your abilities, it also shows them that you should be treated as an equal.

Imagine you’re on a date. If you’ve planned out an evening that you think the other party would enjoy, you’re most likely not going to enjoy yourself because you’ll be far too out of your element to feel comfortable. But, according to psychologists, people who are comfortable in their own skin are more attractive than those who are performative. Furthermore, when you plan a date which is something you would enjoy, the other party would be able to get to know you a bit better and watch you flourish in your environment. Think of it as the quote that is famous for being misquoted as being said by Einstein, “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” In this scenario, you are the fish. You don’t have to climb the tree, instead you can swim and show your date the best parts of you instead of struggling in situations you are unfamiliar with.

Don’t forget the other saying which often applies when you are trying to leave a good impression on someone: people will forget what you say, people will forget what you do, but people will never forget the way you made them feel. This is a golden piece of advice because how you make people feel is how they are going to remember you. If you’re always complaining to a friend and wasting their time with your rants or putting them down, they aren’t going to be big on the welcoming front. However, if you are always raising people up and complimenting them, laughing at their jokes, they will inadvertently feel that they are fun to be around and it will make them want to be around you more. It’s that simple: they will like you if you make them feel good about themselves.

Making them feel good about themselves should come naturally. Don’t try to force compliments because people can tell when you’re being fake. Another key to unlocking your charm is to be real. Be genuine. Authenticity shines through and engages people. Now it doesn’t matter if you’re talking about politics or fiber internet, if you are able to let your guard down and just be your true, unadulterated self with a touch of positivity, you will be able to engage with them on a whole other level. Try it - elevate another person’s joke, reassure them that they are as funny or kind as they think they are, drop little compliments when you’re teasing them.

Showing your emotions is also a part of being real. People naturally gravitate towards people who are not afraid of showing their vulnerable side. If you’re always happy and confident, it might strike people as odd or fake. Allow yourself to be in touch with your feelings and share it with others without feeling the need to justify why you were feeling the way you feel. For instance, you being nervous when you stepped into the interview room or you were sweating buckets when you were waiting for your examination results - people can relate to those feelings and it’s charming because it’s both real and people are usually afraid to show their weaknesses. By sharing them, you make yourself less intimidating, and people will be able to connect with your experiences and relate to what you are going through which builds a deeper rapport.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Interpersonal Skills eBooks.

The Skills You Need Guide to Interpersonal Skills

Develop your interpersonal skills with our series of eBooks. Learn about and improve your communication skills, tackle conflict resolution, mediate in difficult situations, and develop your emotional intelligence.

About the Author

Craig Lebrau is the CMO of Media Insider, a Wyoming-based PR company that aims to disrupt the way companies communicate their brand in the digital era.