Your Route to the top: Charm your way up

Inspire people. Think Martin Luther King. Appeal to people's emotions by showing them how it could be if only they dared to dream. Your optimism will pull people in.

Share your passion. If you can't find enthusiasm, find an angle. Link the new performance-management system into how you helped your son transform his grades, or how your football team shot up the league. Showing you care brings a topic to life.

Surprise 'em. Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev banged his shoe on the table in response to a speech criticising the Soviet Union's role in eastern Europe. Unconventional responses to familiar situations get our attention.

Create empathy. Give natural synergy a nudge by consciously matching others. Try speaking at the same volume or pace, and reflect movement. Be subtle though. You'll know it's working when you laugh and they laugh too.

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