My new career in real estate requires that I interact well with clients. In other words, I need to be charming — more charming than I already am. You may be thinking, “How can Barbara possibly be any more charming than she already is?” I’m thinking the same thing but I am always open to improvement. 🙂
To improve my “charm quotient” I need to understand that today, feelings are easily hurt if a politically incorrect word or term is used unintentionally. A glance, touch or movement may be perceived as inappropriate. Tone may be taken as harsh or judgmental. Look at the furor created recently when Donald Trump’s tone was considered offensive. Anchors and pundits at CNN became positively apoplectic.
So, because it appears almost everybody is offended by something, I need to learn how to deal with that new reality and be charming about it.
To start, I must stop being blunt. If you tell me something patently untrue, I must not tell you that you are full of crap because that’s not charming. Instead, I must respond to you in a warm and fuzzy way and not offend your delicate sensibilities. If you are a male with facial hair, I must not tell you how disgusting I think it is, and I certainly can’t say you look like a scruffy old fart because that would be intolerant and judgmental. Sure, “old” people are allowed to say whatever they want to say but because I take pride in not being “old” I can’t get away with that excuse.
Furthermore, to show that I am in tune with the times, I also need to learn to use the new way of communicating (newspeak) using acronyms, abbreviations, and clichés, (not necessarily related to real estate). For example:
- You don’t contact people, you “reach out” to them.
- You begin every sentence with “So”, and there are no problems, just issues.
- When you go to a doctor for a test, the result is explained in acronym-eze: “The MRI showed you have a an OAB, UTI, and a STD but no one will know because you are protected by HIPPA.” (It would take too much time to explain you have a weak bladder and a urinary tract infection. And oh, by the way, you have a sexually transmitted disease but no one will know because privacy laws (giggle giggle) insure confidentiality.
- When conversing about current events, it’s important to understand our government doesn’t deal with intelligence, it’s “intel”. Regulations are “regs”. Our dear leader is POTUS. “The Supremes” is not a Motown musical group, but members of the SCOTUS.
- When coming to a conclusion, you “get to the bottom line” “at the end of the day.”
So, the bottom line (cliché) is that in order to exude charm and successfully interact with others, I must be totally tolerant, nonjudgmental, flexible, and conversant in newspeak.
To help me achieve my goal, my charming daughter, who is also my charm mentor, suggested that I read The Power of Charm by Brian Tracy and Ron Arden. I really didn’t think I needed to read it, but I read it not once but twice (it’s a quick read) and I love it! As a result, I am becoming so insufferably charming it could torch your tush. (A not so charming cliché)
For example, as a result of reading The Power of Charm I now tell everyone I meet how much I appreciate them, being sure to speak slowly with a lilting quality, with a slight tilt of my head, while gazing into their eyes. I know that sounds like something out of a schmaltzy romance novel, or a pickup attempt at a bar, but that maneuver is considered charming. For practice, I’m using family members as guinea pigs and frankly, they are sick of it, dismissing my attempts to be charming with not so charming directives to “get over it”, “give it up” or horror of horrors, “you are soooo full of crap”. But I don’t care; I’m going to practice until I am totally mesmerizing.
But, on second thought, at the end of the day (cliché), I don’t know — what if I don’t feel like being charming? The answer is, if you want to get along well with others, you WILL be charming because everybody likes a charming person, even when they know (and you know) you are full of it.