Flirt your way to the top

Success no longer depends on knowing how many beans make five. You also need to sound positive and ooze confidence to impress your boss and attract and retain clients.

Competition from charming European counterparts leaves the UK lacking in the interpersonal department. Combine that with the pounding that the financial kingdom’s credibility has taken with recent debacles, and the pressure’s on to up the charm offensive.

But it takes a little bit of work to overcome the bad habits that prevent most people getting ahead by being a top business ‘flirt’.

Flirting is a combination of body language, confidence, tonality and appearance. It is not simply the words you use, but having the skill to be able to read and react to people appropriately in a way that leaves them feeling good about themselves and positive about you ð and your organisation.

Philip is a case in point. He was repeatedly passed over for promotion despite being well-qualified with an excellent track record. It was his body language that let him down. He oozed a lack of confidence, which also made him appear disengaged. The bottom line was he was deemed not personable enough to be able to manage key client relationships effectively.

But if you have lost the art, you can ‘fake it till you make it’ with a simple ESP mantra:

E – Eye contact, lots of it, but no staring;
S – Smile, it’s infectious and releases feel-good hormones;
P – Positivity, don’t put yourself/job/company down, be enthusiastic and pay the client genuine compliments surrounding your working relationship.

It has worked for Philip . He says he is far more aware of what is going on around him. His relationships with his colleagues and existing clients have improved significantly, and he has had marked success with new clients. Within six months he had delighted the partners and secured his promotion.

  • Elizabeth Clark is managing director of Rapport Unlimited, a training company that offers tailored corporate and individual flirt coaching.

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