The word “charisma” comes from the Greek, meaning “divine gift”. Marilyn Monroe had it; JFK had it; so did Winston Churchill and Charles De Gaulle. Obviously charisma isn’t about being beautiful – Churchill and De Gaulle were most definitely not noted for their looks! On the contrary, charisma is about developing – and projecting – a beautiful personality.
Whether in the workplace, among friends, or when dipping your toe into the dating pool, nothing is quite as seductive as charisma. People who are perceived as being charismatic are more successful in business, are paid more, have more friends, and are generally happier in their personal lives.
And the real beauty of charisma is that it’s not something you have or do not have. It’s based on specific actions that can be learned, practiced, and mastered.
Here are 6 of the principal qualities of charismatic people. And you can develop them and own them.
This is the heart of charisma, the foundation upon which all the other components are built. Being present means having a moment-to-moment awareness of what’s happening. It means paying attention to what’s going on around you rather than being caught up in your thoughts. It means really listening and observing when others speak and making the conversation about the other person, not you.
Charismatic people are confident – or are at least able to seem confident. A charismatic person not only appears confident when communicating to others, they also help others feel confidence too. Charismatic people are confident in a positive way, without being boastful or egotistical.
Generosity isn’t just about money. It’s about putting yourself in other people’s shoes and figuring out what they need that you can give them. There are many things you can give people that are far more valuable than money. They include time, attention, warmth, respect, information, simple kindness. When you’re in a generous mindset, people will see it, feel it, and like you more.
Charismatic people inspire by giving credit to others and being humble, remembering where they came from, and never trying too hard to impress anyone. They praise those who perform well because they know praise inspires people to work harder. A humble attitude creates emotional bonds with others, both at work and in personal relationships.
This is the ability to understand others’ emotions. At a deeper level, it is about defining, understanding, and reacting to the concerns and needs that underlie others’ emotional responses and reactions. Most people feel compassion and sympathy for others when seeing their distress and suffering. Empathy differs in that it’s about experiencing those feelings for yourself, as if you were that person, through the power of your imagination. It’s a priceless quality.
6. A sense of humor
Humor puts people at ease. It can lighten the mood of a serious conversation and make criticism easier to accept. Charismatic people know how to use humor to spread goodwill, but also, and more importantly, they know how to use humor to make fun of themselves. By being able to laugh at their own mistakes, they give those around them the same ability.
How do you rate in the charisma department? Do you inspire others? Help them to believe in their dreams and goals? Make them feel special, important, worthwhile? If you want to be a leader – a great leader – these are some of the most vital skills you need to develop.