What’s the single most important quality to possess when trying to win someone over, whether in business or in your personal life? Charm, say Brian Tracy and Ron Arden, authors of The Power of Charm: How to Win Over Anyone in Any Situation. Although some come by it naturally, charm can be learned. Here are some basics:
Greet people as if you are thrilled to see them.
Create a feeling of excitement, delight and gratitude, and communicate it in your greeting.
Use effective listening techniques.
Resist the urge to interrupt; pause before replying; question for clarification; and paraphrase to reinforce your attentiveness and understanding.
Always make eye contact.
Look into people’s eyes as they are talking—not the bridge of their nose, not their forehead, but the eyes. But don’t let your eyes glaze over into a vacant stare. If you want a person to see that you are listening, then your eyes must move; practice the technique of “flicking” your eyes back and forth between his.
Nodding signals to others that you are warm, friendly and supportive. Believe it or not, this simple head movement is a key element of charm, especially when combined with eye contact, head tilts and other subtle, positive physical cues.
Slow down your speech.
Are you a fast talker, someone who barely lets others get a word in edgewise? If so, others may perceive you as self-centred and uninterested in others. To slow your speaking tempo, record yourself speaking at a rate that seems uncomfortably slow to you. When you play back the recording, you may be surprised to discover that what you thought was too slow sounds just right. If so, practice speaking slowly with a colleague and ask for feedback.