Have you ever worked with a very charismatic leader? If so, then it’s likely that almost everyone in the organization liked, trusted and admired this person.
People listened when she talked, colleagues supported her ideas, and talented people wanted to join her team. In short, everyone wanted to be around this person!
Charisma is something that many people believe you’re born with. However, this isn’t the case – you can become more charismatic, and we’ll explore how you can develop charisma in this article
Charisma is a collection of traits and behaviors that make you appeal to other people. The word comes from the Greek word “charis,” which means “grace” or “gift.”
A person who is charismatic is exceptionally engaging, likeable, trustworthy, and, in many cases, a bit “magical.” Larger-than-life personalities like Marilyn Monroe, Martin Luther King, Jr., Oprah Winfrey, and Sir Richard Branson have all been known for their charismatic personalities.
People with charisma are assertive, confident, inspiring, and warm. They make a point of listening to others, and they have an innate grace that often stops people in their tracks.
As such, it’s great to be charismatic in business, even if you are not in a leadership role. When you have charisma, people want to work with you. They’re drawn to your ideas, they trust your opinion, and they’re more likely to be influenced by you.
Charisma and Power
Charisma is a form of “referent power,” which social psychologists John French and Bertram Raven identified as one of the five bases of power. Referent power is influence that you have because other people like and respect you.
With that in mind, remember that charisma can be misused. Don’t use it to manipulate others into doing something that is against their interests.
Charisma is nothing more than a set of traits and behaviors that, when put together, turn you into a magnetic, engaging personality. Plenty of research shows that you can learn and perfect these traits.
For instance, studies have shown that leaders who are willing to endure hardship are seen as more charismatic by their teams, and people who have a positive outlook are more likely to have charisma. Also, what people choose to say can affect how charismatic they are.
A common misconception about charisma is that it is closely linked with physical attractiveness. Although this can help you to be liked in some situations, it’s certainly not a requirement for being charismatic.
Ultimately, beauty is only skin deep. Your actions and beliefs can matter far more to thoughtful people than how you look.
It takes time and effort to develop charisma, so pay attention to several areas. Look at developing charisma as a personal journey, and focus on one area at a time.
Let’s look at these areas in turn:
Body Language and Presence
Body Language and “presence” are important aspects of charisma. Without saying a word, the right body language can transmit strength, warmth, and likability.
Start by standing up straight, with your shoulders back and your head up. Good posture not only makes you look confident and in control, but it also makes you feel this way!
Research shows that charismatic people tend to be very positive, so do your best to maintain a positive outlook.
Presence is a bit different from body language: this has to do with the quality of your attention. When you have presence, you devote all of your attention to the person you’re with, and you don’t let your mind wander to something else. You give yourself, and your attention, solely to that person.