This charming man/woman


Ever wondered why candidates with less experience and knowledge get promoted so quickly? Could it be they charmed the interview panel?

“He must have had quite a lot of charm ,as he was promoted by people very quickly”. Do you recognise this individual ? Are you all too familiar with the practice? Why is charm stressed above other qualities that might be assumed to be of greater significance in determining promotion? Wouldn’t relevant experience, knowledge and skills be a better grounds for promotion? I have yet to see, “charm” listed on a person specification as an essential requirement for the post. What do we mean by “ charm” any way? 

The dictionary definition is,

the power or quality of delighting, attracting, or fascinating others.

synonyms: attractiveness, beauty, glamour, prettiness, loveliness; 


So do we really appoint senior managers because they have an attractive personality? My definition in a work situation would be, easy to like , inoffensive , good company or makes us feel good about ourselves. 

Neither definition seems like an over riding quality for promotion. 

Yes we need managers who can make partnerships work and who are politically sensitive, diplomatic when required to be so but surely  an attractive smile, a positive demeanour and a tendency to avoid conflict are not what management is about.


I have know some very gruff senior managers who could turn on the charm when addressing those they considered influential or worthy of the effort. 

May be its that those who are short listed all have the necessary experience, knowledge and skill so the decision for the interview panel is who is the most likeable or who could they most see themselves working with.

But the quote at the beginning of the article implies that promotion was based on charm and that seems a very superficial reason for appointing or promoting someone. 

Blair Mcpherson former Director ,author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk

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