5 Ways to Increase Your Charisma
Have you ever noticed people who walk into a room and immediately command attention? They are dressed impeccably, exude confidence, and possess a certain je ne sais quoi – that intangible quality that makes them distinctive and attractive. Were they born this way? Do they have a coach? How do they do it? Though difficult to articulate we all know it when we see it, let’s call this magical aura charisma. I’ll let you in on a little secret; charisma can be learned.
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"When you put together deep knowledge about a subject that intensely matters to you, charisma happens. You gain courage to share your passion, and when you do that, folks follow."
According to Olivia Fox Cabane the author of “The Charisma Myth”, anyone can master the art and science of personal magnetism. Although many believe charisma is an inborn quality (you either have it or you don’t) Cabane believes charismatic behaviours can be learned and perfected by anyone. If a person’s level of charisma can be changed through practice, let’s first examine its three core elements: presence, power and warmth.
We are truly present when we are fully engaged in conversation. It is human nature to be distracted and notice other things happening around us. According to a study conducted at Harvard University, on average our minds wander approximately 50% of the time. Controlling this requires awareness and practice. When you give someone your undivided attention, they feel listened to and important. You will ask better follow-up questions and get to know them on a much deeper level. I’m sure you’ve experienced a time when you felt like you didn’t have someone’s full attention – their lack of eye contact, looking around the room to see who else is there, interrupting you, or just not acknowledging you. This disrespectful and insincere behavior results in a lack of trust, which will be very difficult to reverse.
Picture someone you believe to be powerful. Someone with great influence, authority, dominance, ability and likely money. They typically have a high social status and carry themselves in a manner that conveys confidence. The energy they bring into a room is palatable and highly attractive. Their posture is excellent, their body language and movements reflect their strength. I’m sure you know people who wield great powers, are fully present and powerful yet they still lack charisma. This brings me to the next and perhaps the most important element...warmth.
Cabane defines warmth as goodwill towards others. These are the people who make you feel like you are the only person in the room when you are having a conversation with them. You walk away feeling like you have had a great conversation. They give you their undivided attention, make eye contact, smile and are genuinely interested in what you have to say.
They are the people who remember to ask you for details on that vacation you were taking to Italy and your favourite attractions while there.