Charisma is one of those words that causes confusion. From its roots as an, apparently, God-given gift, to its modern application to pop stars and TV celebrities, it’s confusing and difficult to define. Well I’m determined to define it and turn it into a measurable, trainable, concrete human competence.
I think that charisma is a function of social skill and confidence in who and what you are. And it’s the combination of confidence, warmth and generosity that makes Robbie Williams charismatic and Gary Barlow not. Jeremy Clarkson a prat and Richard Hammond and bankable star. G.W. Bush embarrassing, and W. Clinton inspiring. So whether you’re a teacher, a rock star or a politician, I think that the definition of charisma is-
An ability to transfer an emotion that you feel, directly and honestly to your audience
That’s it. So it’s relevant for speakers, teachers, managers, leaders, salespeople, kids, lovers and everyone who ever wants to share how they feel. I and some very credible contacts have created the Charisma Group on LinkedIn if you’d like to contribute your thinking about the subject and get involved in the debate.
Here are some more of my thoughts on how charisma is the spark that makes the difference if you want to capture hearts and minds, not just minds.
10 things that show you’re charismatic
- You’re confident enough in yourself to treat everyone you meet as (at least) your equal.
- You follow the basic principles of social courtesy wherever you go, whatever you’re doing.
- You can consciously change the mood in the room when you speak because you understand what moves and inspires others.
- You understand that your point of view is an opinion and present it as such.
- You listen to people’s objections to your point of view, and show that you have listened.
- You acknowledge and support the other person’s right to disagree with your point of view.
- You leave people feeling good about themselves and realise, and care, when you haven’t.
- You make efforts to make amends when you’ve left people feeling ‘not OK’.
- You have a set of principles that you share and follow.
- You understand that your position confers privileges, duties and responsibilities.
What do you think? What have I missed? Please feel free to join our LinkedIn group now.