Inspiration“The Charismatic Edge” by Owen Fitzpatrick, 2013, 224 pages
ThoughtsRecently I came across a statement running approximately as follows: “At some point every job becomes a sales job”. It was stated in the context of how we can generate assignments or promotions for ourselves. Now some of us may be the consummate salesperson whether it be of goods, services, ideas or ourselves. Then again, some of us may virtually cringe at the thought that it is not effort and merit that matter, but personal presentation and connections. I expect many of us find ourselves at some point between these two examples.
We know that in today’s economy and work environment we need to build a brand for ourselves - to stand out - in order for us to have a chance at the most juicy opportunities. However, we may not necessarily be aware of ways to define and communicate who we are, what we do and why we do it in a way that rouses interest and liking in others. We may need to take a couple of lessons from the very charismatic people around us on how to shine some light on ourselves and show the world what we have to offer.
Owen Fitzpatrick, psychologist and NLP practitioner, has taken a look at what constitutes personal charisma in terms of attitude, actions and abilities. For those of us not naturally very charismatic, there are ways to amp up the volume without losing our authenticity.
Attitude MattersIt is very difficult, if not downright impossible, to come across as an interesting, even charismatic, person, if our attitudes to ourselves, other people and the world as such do not support us.
Our beliefs define what we expect from ourselves, from others and from life. The interesting thing here is that what we expect makes us act in certain ways which in turn leads us to experience outcomes that conform to what we believe. So, if we believe that we are plain and uninspiring people, that other people won’t like us and that the world is a cold and hostile place, chances are more than good that will be the experience we will have.
How can we get over beliefs that hinder us from presenting our best selves to others and the world? We cannot just “unbelieve” – we need to actively put something else, something more helpful to us, in place as our new set of beliefs. Beliefs cause behaviours and behaviours cause/reinforce beliefs. So we can either work from the inside-out or from the outside-in. Whichever we change, beliefs or behaviours, the other part of the belief/behavior pair will follow, because we need to experience congruence between the two.
By working on treating ourselves better, accepting ourselves, believing in ourselves and standing up for ourselves we can reform our understanding of ourselves and our expectations of how other people will perceive us. It is not easy work to eliminate negative thoughts and fears of failure and rejection. However, once we start going down that route, we will find increasing freedom to be the best versions of ourselves.
About the Other PersonIt may not come naturally to us to contemplate ways to make sure that the impression we leave with others is the one we wish to leave - that the impression we leave is authentic and makes the other person think and feel in the way we wish them to think and feel about us and our brand. If we do not pay attention to how we come across to other people we may leave an impression with them far from how we see ourselves and how we would like other people to see us.
The main point is to get outside our own heads and focus on the other person. Who are they, what is their background, which preferences, interests and mindset do they display. By showing interest, getting to know and retain this information, we put ourselves in the best position to have positive interactions with this person. People tend to like people who are like them. Once we get to know about another person we will be able to play up authentic similarities in backgrounds, opinions, feelings, ways of acting and speaking to create the background for positive interactions with this person.
Of course, certain general forms of behaviour will assist us in coming across as interesting, approachable and likeable with other people. We have all heard many a time that smiling, eye contact, a firm handshake being well-groomed and respectful will help others form a favourable impression of us. However, these behavious must always be accompanied with a genuine interest in learning about and adjusting to the other person.
InfluencingMost of us will from time to time need to convince other people of a particular issue or course of action. In order to come across as interesting and convincing, we need to have convinced ourselves of the issue or action first. Not truly believing in the cause ourselves, we are not likely to convince anybody else.
There are two ways to exert influence; logical and emotional. Now we may believe that logic and fact based appeals should carry the day. In most cases we will be wrong. That is not to say that logic and facts do not matter. They certainly do, and people will react to lack of logic and shady facts. However, what sells people on our proposition is more likely to be found in the spectrum of the emotions we engender while making our pitch. We may want to show facts, figures and statistics to back up our claim, but our impact will be much greater if we focus on building connection with our audience, make it a two-way conversation and employ succinct story-telling.
Making our audience feel and relate to the problem, the urgency and the need to act according to our recommendation makes the audience engage at a higher level and also helps the audience remember the points in our argument. Emotional influence produces more results than a run-through of spreadsheets and KPIs.
TakeawaysDo we know how we come across to others? Is it the way we want to come across – does it align with how we see ourselves, other people and the world as such? Do our beliefs about ourselves, others and the world help us communicate and connect with others or do they actually limit our possibilities to “sell” and brand ourselves to others. Many of us hold some level of limiting beliefs that manifest themselves in non-productive ways in our behaviours.
Being aware of our beliefs and behaviours enables us to tweak them to better connect with and influence other people. By connecting with other people through authentic shared traits and characteristics and by employing emotional arguments as well as logic, we and our brand are “sold” to others in the best possible way.
Feel inspired? Have ideas? Need to launch initiatives?Get in touch with NT Management Consulting today.