Charisma can take you far in life, making it easier for you to network, build relationships and influence the people around you. If you feel you are lacking charm—or you just want to step it up a notch—follow this advice:
Be polite. “Thank you” and “Please” still go a long way. Greet people, hold doors open for them and smile!
Say “You’re welcome.” When someone thanks you, don’t toss out a “no problem.” Instead, show that you are glad they acknowledge your efforts and appreciate their gratitude.
Offer to help. If you can do something that makes someone else’s life a little easier or better, do it. Share information and lend a hand when it’s needed. Most important: Look for opportunities to help; don’t just wait for one to land in your lap.
Empathize. When you say things like “Wow, you must be so excited!” or “I know that must be scary,” you let people know that you are listening to them; but beyond that, you take the time to understand how they’re feeling. Don’t rush to one-up them with a story of your own or immediately offer advice. Listen, acknowledge their feelings and share your input if they ask for it.
Offer sincere compliments. When someone deserves a little praise, dole it out. Just don’t force it, or you will seem fake.
Look for opportunities to help others connect. When two people that you know are in the same room, introduce them to one another. Or send an email to two contacts and say, “I thought the two of you should meet …” and then explain why.
Show your faith in people. It feels good to have someone believe in you, so let people know you believe in them. Say: “I know you can do this …,” “You are going to do awesome” or “I believe in you.”
— Adapted from “17 Verbal Habits of Highly Likable People,” Bill Murphy, Jr., Inc., www.inc.com.