Is charisma something you either have or don’t have? Or can you work on improving your charisma to become more successful, make friends and influence people?
According to the dictionary, charisma is ‘compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.’ Those with charisma can often become hugely successful and prove to be very influential leaders. Think of the likes of Gandhi and Winston Churchill in our recent history – or look to the modern day and the most recent US Presidents – Barack Obama and Donald Trump (we’ll come back to him later!).
So, what is this thing called charisma, what does it entail? Think of the people you know who you consider charismatic. No doubt many of them are successful in their own fields. What is their magic ingredient? Are they confident, friendly? Are they the most articulate person in the room – what is it that makes people gravitate towards them?
There are several traits that contribute towards charisma. You’ll find that charismatic people are confident, and of an optimistic disposition. No one is going to gravitate towards people who give off a negative vibe and always see the worst in people and situations. Meet up with a charismatic person for a drink, coffee or business meeting and you will come away feeling positive, upbeat and inspired, rather than depressed and feeling pessimistic about the future.
This doesn’t mean that they always feel optimistic – they do, however know how, to a certain extent, to mask their true feelings, to create the best from a situation.
They will be interesting people to talk to – not only that but they are interested in others. Someone who is all me me me may initially appear charismatic, but you will soon realise that they are in fact rather arrogant, thinking the world revolves around them (Donald Trump we’re looking at you!). A charismatic speaker will be able to gauge their audience and pick up on body language – ascertaining whether people have heard enough of a certain story or are feeling uncomfortable about the subject matter for some reason.
Charismatic folk are likely to be an expert on something – because their traits have made them successful in life and they are keen to learn and improve at all times – and they will usually have a good all-round knowledge too, which enables them to feel at ease whatever the conversation. It doesn’t mean that they feel the need to take over the conversation or demonstrate their superior knowledge – that is when it veers towards arrogance.
They can, however, feel confident in their decisions and be assertive when they know they are right. But they won’t railroad others – they will win you over with their quiet confidence and persuasive manner – unfortunately some people don’t use their charisma for good and this is how scam artists succeed!
So, you’re probably wondering if all these wonderful charismatic traits are just something you are born with. The good news is that, although some people do seem to have natural appeal, it is certainly possible to develop your own charisma, by working on your interpersonal skills, by being aware of how much negativity you project, and by making solid attempts to be interested in other people.
It’s worth trying to improve on these very attractive traits and seeing whether your own charisma levels rise – maybe you will be the person that everyone gravitates to at the next party or networking event…
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