Kim Kardashian 2016

Charisma. Even after 3 years of researching the topic, I'm still taken aback by just how thoroughly fascinated everyone I meet is about the subject.

And when I let people in on the little-known secret that charisma is actually a set of skills that anyone can learn, that's when they really start to pay attention.

The avalanche of questions that follows usually starts like this: 'So what do I need to start doing to be more charismatic?'

Naturally, they're surprised when I tell them that becoming a more charismatic person actually starts with the things they need to stop doing.

In this article, I've outlined out the 6 most common charisma-killing mistakes I see people making when working with them.

You'll learn what behaviors to avoid at all costs, and how doing so can virtually triple your charisma overnight. 

The Six Most Common Charisma Killers Are (In No Particular Order):

Charisma Killer #1: You Think Charisma's All About Your Ability To Impress People

Ask any expert on the topic of charisma who they think might be the most charismatic politician of all time, and 9 of 10 will tell you it was this guy: Benjamin Disraeli.

Case in point: In the summer of 1886, Disraeli was facing William Gladstone for the position of Prime Minister of England.

When reporters covering the heated election discovered that both men had happened to take the same young woman out to dinner, their curiosity compelled them to interview her about which candidate had impressed her the most.

She responded, 'After dining with Mr. Gladstone, I felt like he was the most fascinating person in England. But after dining with Mr. Disraeli, I felt like I was the most fascinating person in England.'

Guess who won the election. It was the man who made others feel impressive and fascinating.

Moral of the Story: If you want to dramatically boost your attractor factor, take a hint from Prime Minister Disraeli. Stop trying to impress the people you meet, and start letting them impress you instead.

Charisma Killer #2: You Can't Get Out of You Own Head

Those who coach the art of charisma know that presence is the single most requested skill we're called upon to teach top performers.

That's because presence - having a moment-to-moment awareness of what‘s happening (rather than being stuck in your head) - is a commodity so rare that it's hardly ever seen in today's distraction-filled culture.

Now consider the fact that our brains are essentially hard-wired to be easily distracted, and you can see why having the ability to offer others your undivided presence is always guaranteed to multiply your magnetic potential.

Case in point: Former President Bill Clinton is said to have a presence so powerful, it makes everyone he addresses feel like they're the only person in the room.

Even Clinton's staunchest opponents have admitted, 'Bill Clinton - I hated him before I met him; I hated him after I met him; But while I met him ... I absolutely loved the man!'

(Read my article about having a charismatic presence with women here)

Moral of the Story: Being present - paying attention to what‘s going on rather than being caught up in your thoughts - can yield immense rewards. When you exhibit presence, those around you feel listened to, respected and valued.

Charisma Killer #3: You Interrupt People

Attend any run-of-the-mill seminar on sales, persuasion or becoming a person of influence and you'll be sure to have this lesson on day one - never interrupt the other person.

Case in point: My friend Jill works with special needs children. She pretty much has the patience of Job. But in spite of all that, she absolutely hates being interrupted when she's speaking.

Know who else hates being interrupted? Everyone on the planet.

Not only does being the kind of person who interrupts people make you supremely obnoxious, but do it enough, and you'll essentially be sending the message that what the other person has to say isn't worth listening to - or hearing.

Moral of the Story: Unless you're the kind of person who enjoys spending lots of time by yourself - you'll stop interrupting people ... immediately.

Charisma Killer #4: You Can't Stop Making Other People Wrong

Of all of the most common barriers to charisma, this one is easily the most seductive.

It's a simple fact that human beings love to be right.

And decades of behavioral research have proven that once we make up our minds about a person, we'll go out of our way to prove ourselves right (This explains why first impressions are so powerful).

(See my article on how to guarantee a great first impression here)

Case in point: When I first met Aaron, he was everything I expected a successful 24 year-old sales professional to be. He wasn't just extremely likable, he also resonated the kind of positive energy that fed great vibes to everyone around him.

Unfortunately, Aaron's glaring achilles heel was that whenever he felt like someone had wronged him on the job, he'd end up taking it personally ... and it showed.

His usual friendly and upbeat demeanor would give way to a sad little scowl and a dismal vibe that felt like it might actually drain you if you were standing too close.

It wasn't long before this habit had gotten him reprimanded for arguing with a fellow employee. He'd even been sent home early - an extremely rare occurrence among top sales performers.

So how did I bring the old Aaron back? By simply making him aware of what needing to be right - (and make someone else wrong) - was costing him.

"Tell me something Aaron ... Would you rather be right, or would you rather be rich?"

A huge smile flashed across his face. 'Rich, Petey. I'd rather be Rich!'

Moral of the story: In 1936 Dale Carnegie first espoused the timeless wisdom: 'Never tell the other person that they're wrong'. Avoiding the narcissistic compulsion of needing to be right, or worse - needing to make someone else wrong - is an essential component in enhancing your charisma.

Charisma Killer #5: You're Still Too Afraid To Be Yourself

Let's be honest - we live in an culture where everyone and their mother is all about the business of 'looking good'. The only problem with such a pursuit is that it often comes at the expense of us being our most authentic selves. Taken too far, we can end up looking downright inauthentic - an absolute killer when it comes to charisma.

Case in point: Former UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is a supremely outspoken chick who will always say exactly what's on her mind (no matter how many people it offends).

But as abrasive as Ronda can be, she's never bothered trying to convince the public that she's anything other than who she is.

And while one might think it's hurt her mainstream appeal, the reality has been just the opposite - It's taken her less than 16 months to become the biggest name in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.

Ronda Rousey has always been - and will always be - a straight shooter who'll tell you exactly what she thinks. Love her or hate her, Ronda Rousey's indisputable charm is deeply rooted in her ability to be exactly who and what she is ... with zero apologies.

Moral of the story: When you‘re perceived as disingenuous, it‘s virtually impossible to generate trust, rapport, or loyalty. And it‘s impossible to be charismatic.

Charisma Killer #6: You Get Seduced Into Negative Gossip

Contrary to popular belief, people who engage in gossip typically do so for relatively harmless reasons. For many people, gossip simply serves as a means by which they connect with others in their circle of influence:

+ To bond with or build rapport among their peers
+ To give the appearance that they're "in the know" among their social circle
+ To vent frustrations or blow off steam

The big problem with being seduced into negative gossip is that it actually ends up having a boomerang effect on the one doing the gossiping!

This little-known psychological phenomenon is known as spontaneous trait transference, and it plays a powerful role in the way we unconsciously form impressions of other people.

Specifically, researchers have found that when someone attributes positive or negative traits to someone else, the listener will often attribute those same traits to the speaker. [1]

Moral of the story: Engaging in negative gossip means you also run the risk of having all of those negative traits you're gossiping about unconsciously linked with you! So follow mom's advice ... If you don't have anything nice to say about someone, keep your mouth shut.

Remember - Your Charismatic Ability is Not Really About You

Understand that charisma is 10% how you make people feel about you, and 90% how you make them feel about themselves.

When it comes to winning friends and influencing people, avoiding these six pervasive pitfalls will put you miles ahead of the game.