The secret to becoming charismatic is less about you and more about how you make others feel.


By: Anja Uitdehaag

 Recently I’ve met Tamara – a Sales Leader of a big International Company. She has that extra special something that you just can’t put your finger on. She has a magnetic energy and ability to engage others that truly sets her apart.

She has “charisma.”

Charisma is the ability to attract, charm, and influence the people around you. Related terms and phrases include: grace, exuberance, equanimity, mystique, positive energy, joie de vivre, extreme charm, personal magnetism, personal appeal, electricity, and allure.  Usually many of these specific qualities must be present within a single individual for the person to be considered highly charismatic by the public and their peers.

Charismatic leaders are often identified in times of crisis and exhibit exceptional devotion to and expertise in their fields. They are often people with a clear vision in business and the ability to engage with the audience.

When it comes to leadership qualities, the secret lies in emotional intelligence.

Charismatic leaders:

  • Challenge The Status Quo
  • Create A Compelling Vision
  • Establish Shared Values
  • Model The Way
  • Value the Potential in People
  • boost morale.
  • embrace team spirit and
  • value togetherness

Apart from the soft skills, charismatic leaders are also highly intelligent and have expertise in a number of areas. They are smart, suave and tech-savvy – keeping themselves abreast with all the latest news and current affairs. Their wide knowledge base makes them great orators and conversationalists.

Charismatic people seem to be able to easily draw the attention and admiration of others. They are brilliant communicators. They energize, inspire and motivate us to step forward and convert fear into challenge. They stand out because they are able to see things from another’s perspective and continually seek to find the common ground.

They do this through actions such as:

  • Direct eye contact;
  • Remembering personal details about the person they are speaking with e.g. use of name or enquiry after family/social matters;
  • Giving their complete focus to the other person for the time they are with them;
  • Reading their surroundings and being skilled at detecting the moods of the audience and
  • Adjusting his or her behaviors and speech to suit the situation at hand.

General Electric’s former chief executive Jack Welch is often posited as the archetype of the successful “charismatic” business leader. He rose to fame for setting big goals and communicating them with confidence, and his influence on business more generally has been substantial.

Charisma is often said to be a mysterious ineffable quality – you either have it or don’t have it.

I personally feel that anyone can become a charismatic leader by embracing and developing a few personality traits. These include being empathetic and giving your team members importance and respect; being alert and making sure you are well-aware of all possible and existing problems and solutions; being driven and motivating the followers to envision the same “path to success”; and demonstrating a strong commitment to your goals.

A lot about being charismatic is about making the other person/people feel good by being more free and genuine socially, by being fully there, by being positive, open and confident.

Like any other capabilities, these can be learned and improved upon.

No matter your personality, there are certain traits you can practice and apply to your own behavior that can possibly make you seem more magnetic, trustworthy, and influential.

Focusing on making meaningful connections with others seems a good start in developing your charisma. Making true connections with others is essential for work but also life in general. Learn to be authentic in who you are, how you think and feel. At the same time be curious. Be curious in the thoughts and feelings of others. Truly try to understand people and as a result a meaningful connection will enfold.

Remember: very few ‘charismatic’ people are naturally charismatic. Most of us cultivate it along the way.  I believe that being more charismatic is mostly about bringing out positive qualities in our selves. They are already there. You just have to practice and have the courage to make them stronger and bring them out more consistently.

Throughout this learning process, use the tips, tricks and secrets of people who are charismatic to developing and growing your own charisma!

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