Charisma is that seemingly magical ability to get people to like you, trust you and want to be led by you. It can determine if people see you as a follower or a leader, whether your ideas are heard and taken up and how well your projects are implemented.
Having Charisma at work matters because it makes people want to work with you, they perform better and enjoy work more.
What you don’t know about charismatic people is:
- They aren’t always charismatic. They will switch it on and off according to the situation
- Charisma is not something people are born with, it’s a learned behaviour and something anyone can develop. For example, Steve Jobs didn’t start out as a really charismatic CEO, as you can see in his early presentations, instead, he learnt how to be charismatic.
How To Be Charismatic:
There are 3 elements to charisma according to the author of The Charisma Myth – Olivia Fox Cabane
They are – Presence + Power + Warmth
Presence. Have you ever been talking with someone and something tells you they’re not really listening? They may still have eye contact and be speaking but something about their micro-expressions or body language makes you feel their mind is elsewhere. When people feel you’re present and actively listening to them they trust and like you.
Power. By power, I mean that people perceive you as having the ability to affect their world. Whether through authority, influence, knowledge, status or intelligence. On first meeting someone, we judge this on appearance, body language and how others react to the person.
Warmth. People feel warmth towards you when they believe that you will use your power in their favour and we assess that entirely on body language and behaviours. If your behaviour and words come from a place of goodwill and empathy towards the other person they will pick up warmth from you.
I suggest you think about how you can demonstrate the 3 elements of charisma, then practise using them with people who don’t know you well.
How did they react? Was it different from your past interactions with people? Remember you don’t have to be charismatic all the time, that would be quite exhausting.