By James Kwon
By James Kwon
For the past six weeks, I’ve been learning about account management. This may sound like a boring or menial subject (I was skeptical too at first), but I assure you it’s not. Account management is so much more than just keeping everybody, i.e; the client and your team, happy. It involves a whole lot of other behind-the-scenes workings that account managers learn about at Figmints.
Just to give you a sampling of what agency account managers need to know and have to succeed, here’s a short list:
There’s so much more, but that should give you a good idea of the range of skills and subjects an account manager has to master. The part of the account management course I’m currently taking that I found the most interesting and helpful touches on the last bullet note up there: charisma.
A lot of account management deals with soft skills because, after all, account management is essentially the role of managing relationships. This is why having charisma is so important.
To learn about charisma, we read The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane. If you haven’t read it before, I’m now a huge fan and definitely suggest it to anyone in or outside of account management. A lot of the skills the author teaches can be applied to both your professional and personal life, which makes it a win-win.
The idea behind the book is that anyone can learn charisma – you don’t have to be born with it. As the author states, “charismatic behaviors can be learned and perfected by anyone.” Shout out to all my fellow introverts!
The best part is that she breaks it down into specific steps and practices, and includes multiple ways to go about it. I’ll share a couple of key points and takeaways from the book that you can apply to your own life.
The first step to being charismatic is to identify what keeps you from being charismatic. Maybe you experience a lot self-doubt, or maybe you have a lot of anxiety. The best way to prevent discomfort or uncertainty is by planning ahead. Plan for what you have control over, which includes what you are wearing, the location or setting, and timing.
While there are variables you can control, many of us still have anxiety that prevents us from being charismatic. Here are a few steps that can help deal with a situation that stresses you out:
First, stigmatize the experience by acknowledging that it’s normal to have uncomfortable feelings. You can even imagine other people going through the same experience. See yourself as part of a larger group of people that is going through those same feelings together.
Then, neutralize negative thoughts. Realize that the other person is not necessarily reacting negatively to you, but to their own mental or physical discomfort. Our minds like to alter reality and they are conditioned to bring out the negative in each situation.
Finally, try ‘rewriting reality.’ Think of alternatives to your perspective. Writing these down by hand helps to internalize them – make sure to describe them in detail. Adopt one of these alternatives answers to reality as true.
That wraps up my top quick takeaways from the book. I hope you use those tips to become a more charismatic and influential person in your own life!
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