Charisma – you either have or don’t, right? Well, class is in session as Kevin Murray, author of Charismatic Leadership, breaks down how you can become more confident
Being charismatic is often seen as having a ‘magnetic’ personality that can attract and inspire those around you.
There are many kinds of charisma, many different definitions of charisma, and many different ways that each of us can display charisma.
Steve Jobs was known for his powerful charisma and influential presence but was not always this way. He originally was awkward and nervous gradually gained charisma.
What makes a person charismatic?
For many of us, charisma seems somehow unattainable – gifted to a few lucky people who have it naturally in abundance.
But this is not true. Charisma lies within all of us – and to be more charismatic and influential we need to understand and learn the skills that will make us far more inspiring.
Through my research charismatic people have five traits that make them magnetic:
2. personal power
These traits enable them to:
Win trust – To do this you need a set of skills that will help you to be authentic and show who you are, as well as to be consistently transparent and principled.
Command attention and win respect – For this, you need the skills that will help you develop personal power to be magnetic and more ‘followable’.
Engage with others and make them feel good about themselves – You need to develop skills that will give you warmth, and have a more effective presence.
Impart a sense of direction and urgency. To do this you need to articulate your sense of purpose. Your drive should comes from a relentless focus on achieving their goals.
Connect with others and enthuse them. To do this, develop your communication skills and become more persuasive.
People who are persuasive have the skills to hold high-quality conversations which transfer their passion for success to others. They also have the skills to encourage robust but constructive dialogue that enables progress and problem-solving.
A blend of these five traits can make the difference, but perhaps one of the most important is self-belief and confidence.
Why? Because we love people who have a quiet confidence and an aura of self-belief and positivity.
People who look the part, in body language and in their dress, who have energy and passion, are more easily able to transfer their passion and conviction to their followers.
Here are seven ways to power up your charisma and your confidence:
#1 Develop a leadership mindset.
People who decide to have a positive mindset become more charismatic.
Those who seek out problems and move to the sound of gunfire are magnetic. They draw followers to them because of their positivity, their certainty, their bias to action and their willingness to take accountability for their actions.
They don’t make excuses for a lack of results and take accountability for everything over which they have even the smallest element of control. No excuses.
#2 Be energetic and passionate
Most charismatic people are inspired by, and inspiring about, the idea that what they do makes a difference, and that what they do is important. This passion is engaging and energizing.
People with energy have huge wells of personal power, because they tap into their own passion and consciously convey that passion to all of those who follow them.
#3 Be assertive
Assertive people calmly and respectfully leave no doubt in the minds of those around them about what they think is important, what they believe needs to happen and why.
They may use a strong voice to make their point of view clear, but they never use harsh tones, or hostile phrasing, which can create conflict and turmoil. They are always respectful of others.
#4 Look and sound the part
To have personal power you must be poised. You need to learn to use body language to send signals, you must exude confidence (even when you don’t necessarily feel it), and you must speak with the right vocal tones.
You must also be appropriately turned out – and learn what clothes suit you and how your appearance can do good things for you even in the most informal of situations.
Personal power is all about how people perceive you. You don’t necessarily have to be confident in every circumstance, but you do need to appear confident and encourage confidence in others. You may be tired, but you still need to show bounce if you want others to do the same.
You may be worried, but you need to always show calmness and encourage calmness and poise in others.
#5 Be warm
How you make the people around you feel, will determine to a much greater degree than almost any other factor, how good a relationship you’ll have and whether you can influence them.
We all have an emotional signature – how we leave people feeling after meeting us.
If we want people to be positive about us and, more importantly, what we’re trying to achieve, we need to develop the skills that will enable us to have a really positive presence.
This means being able to project warmth, being attentive and fully present, displaying compassion and empathy, being appreciative and praiseful, respectful of others, and most important of all, being a really good listener.
#6 Be positive and optimistic
How easy is it to achieve something if you don’t really believe you can achieve it? How likely is it that you will overcome challenges if you are critical of the people around you? How hard is work when the people around you are negative and defeatist?
One positive person who absolutely believes we can do this thing can make a huge difference to the team, to our mood and to our willingness to even try.
Every great leader that I’ve had the privilege of working with had what often seemed to me like naive optimism. I saw how it helped to generate the energy and commitment from the team that was necessary to achieve the result.
Just the willingness to act makes a difference.
#7 Have a cause
Charismatic people have a cause. You are attracted to them because they are passionate about doing something that matters, something that makes a difference.
They have a clear vision of success and they work tirelessly to advance towards it. Their drive and energy to succeed are inspiring.
They set clear goals, which they are willing to review all the time, and they are open to looking to find ways to improve so that they can achieve their cause more quickly and more efficiently. Their passion for their cause makes them charismatic.
Kevin Murray is an author and speaker who specializes in helping leaders to be more effective and inspiring.
He is author of Charismatic Leadership – the skills you can learn to motivate high performance in others, published by Kogan Page, priced £14.99.