There are some business leaders who instantly light up a room when they walk into it. They have this charisma that draws people to them and makes others want to listen. However, if you don’t feel like you have this type of personality naturally, you don’t have to give up on being able to make a positive impact on others. With a few simple techniques, you can be a business leader whom others look up to and wish to be.
Below, 13 professionals from Young Entrepreneur Council offer their best advice for how to be a positive influence even when charisma doesn’t come naturally to you.
Q: If someone isn’t “naturally” charismatic, what’s one thing they can do to make a positive impact on people? How does this apply to leadership?
1. Leverage Your Skills to Lend a Helping Hand
Play to your strengths. Sometimes the least charismatic people are most driven to get the job done without frills. If you lack people skills, lean on your technical skills and leverage them to educate others on how something works or in helping someone move a project along. They’ll appreciate it much more than any charismatic endeavors. – Anthony Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings
2. Be Kindhearted
Just be a good person overall. You would want to start out by thinking, “If this was done to me by another person, would I be happy with it?” Genuinely care for people’s well-being. Be a wonderful listener. As a leader, this will have a great impact on employees. They will appreciate a kindhearted, sympathetic leader more than a charismatic one. – Kyle Goguen, Pawstruck
3. Build Strong One-to-One Relationships
Charisma can help when you’re trying to win over a crowd, but when you deal with people one to one, you can really get to know them. It’s a great way to have an impact on people and be a leader. You don’t need to be good at every communication style. If you can nail one-on-one communication, you can build great relationships and effectively lead a team. – Cody Candee, Bounce
4. Treat Others How You Would Like to Be Treated
Think and act the way you would like to be treated! You don’t need to be charismatic to have a positive impact on people. But if you put yourself in the other person’s shoes, you will be able to provide exactly what is needed and, therefore, make a positive impact on them. The same applies to leadership. In any situation, think about how you would like to be treated, spoken to, and encouraged. – Riccardo Conte, Virtus Flow
5. Make People Feel Valued and Respected
People need to feel valued. It doesn’t take a charismatic leader to make others feel valued or respected. Instead, a leader can take time to ask questions and get to know their employees. Leaders can empower a team through encouragement. If nothing else, say what you see. Publicly acknowledging the contributions of your team members can go a long way in making others feel heard and appreciated. – Brian Greenberg, True Blue Life Insurance
6. Ask About Their Interests Outside of Work
Simply show an interest in the people you meet. Ask them about their interests and life outside of work. Afterward, make an effort to stay in touch, such as asking to connect on social media or swapping emails. Greet them by name when you see them in the workplace if they’re an employee or colleague. Hopefully, they will remember you as being warm, friendly, and curious. – Emily Stallings, Casely, Inc.
7. Offer Help Without Expecting Anything in Return
One way to create a positive impact on people is to help them without seeking anything in return. Not everyone can help others. But as a leader, it’s your duty to help anyone in need of it. So, help others whenever possible. It can help you create a huge impact on others. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
8. Use Body Language to Help Communicate
If you aren’t naturally charismatic, you can learn to use your body language to draw people in and keep them engaged. Things like eye contact, gestures, and an open stance can transform your impact on someone you’re speaking to. – Jared Atchison, WPForms
9. Develop Your Emotional Intelligence
Step one: Smile. You’d be amazed at the difference it makes. Step two: Educate yourself on emotional intelligence. There are so many resources and training programs to help people test and improve their emotional intelligence. These resources will help you succeed in business and life in multiple ways, including being a more charismatic leader. – Jonathan Prichard, MattressInsider.com
10. Work on Growing Your Confidence
Charisma has less to do with looks or outward features and more to do with confidence. That means that anyone can learn how to be charismatic with enough effort and practice. It starts with how you feel about yourself. If you feel like you have no impact and can’t make a difference, it’ll show in everything you say and do. Changing your thinking, therefore, changes your charisma. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
11. Act With Honesty and Integrity
Don’t be self-obsessed. Far too many people who come across as charismatic are often a bit too self-interested, especially in business. If you’re not very confident and outgoing socially, you can make a strong impression simply by being curious about whoever you’re talking to. Ask genuine questions and listen to what they have to say. Honesty and integrity go further than charisma. – Tyler Gallagher, Regal Assets
12. Practice Reflective Listening
If you are not charismatic, be a listener and ask questions. Reflective listening is listening and responding, repeating most of what you heard to show comprehension. People care chiefly about themselves, and they speak to express their points of view. Listening and repeating what they are saying back to them shows you pay attention. This is better than charisma. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic
13. Have Self-Humility
Talk more about what you do rather than who you are, which is a form of self-humility. It makes you more charismatic because lots of leaders fail at this miserably and actually appear to be the opposite of charismatic. It makes you a better leader because you come off as more self-deprecating rather than an individual trying to take credit for everything. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.