Charisma stems from the Greek word khárisma meaning ‘the gift of grace’. We have all met people who exude charisma, that person who you instantly warm up to. You just can’t help but like these people. Charismatic people light up a room as soon as they enter it and they have a magnetic personality.
I remember meeting my father’s accountant many years ago in the 1980’s. He was charming and oozed charisma. As a keen student of human behaviour, I would admire his traits and wish that perhaps some day I could be liked and respected as he was.
Now, decades later, I have identified five core elements of people with charisma. These are not traits that you are necessarily born with, but are habits you can develop with practice.
They smile a lot
Charismatic people are not stingy with their smiles. They smile easily and naturally, and even to strangers or in challenging situations. It’s a part of who they are. Think of a person that you know is charismatic and I’m sure their smiling face is what you will remember. Even though it takes more facial muscles to frown than to smile, some people seem to prefer the former! The smile of the charismatic person can be seen as a welcoming and comforting beacon of energy.
They have a positive attitude
Setbacks hit us all. Failures, disappointments and down times often lead people to viewing situations with a negative attitude. Charismatic people often have a great attitude, looking at failure as an opportunity to learn, adapt and grow. They know how to take action, viewing failure as a signpost for a new direction. When working in a team or group, charismatic people will often attempt to lift their colleagues up from the floor of disappointment. To charismatic men and women, attitude really is everything.
They know to focus their attention
When you are in conversation with a charismatic person, they are totally engrossed and attentive to what you are saying. You can almost feel that you are the only person in the room when they are speaking to you. It makes you feel special and important, emotions that we all like to feel. They maintain eye contact and are not fidgety or distracted by the environment or their phone. Time can seem to disappear when you talk to a charismatic person, as they can be very charming, interesting and oozing with positive energy. Think of the opposite as being with someone who is blaming, complaining and judging the world constantly, whilst wearing a scowl on their face! This can be energetically draining for you.
Their confidence is high
Charismatic individuals generally don’t pay attention to what people are thinking about them. They exude confidence and have a good level of self-esteem. You can tell this by the way they speak, and also the vocabulary that they use. They don’t like to gossip or put people down. They also take no pleasure in seeing other people feel bad about themselves in general conversations or social situations. Because they are confident, they will not try and have the last word, or even have any need to be ‘correct’ in a discussion. This reveals their high degree of self-awareness. And remember, nobody is born with high confidence. Increasing your confidence is a daily exercise and it’s about choosing to the do the very things you feel nervous or self-conscious about.
They enjoy having fun
Last but not least, charismatic people like to have fun. They don’t mind being the butt of jokes, often having a self-deprecating sense of humour. They like to live in the fully utilised now [F.U.N.], and enjoy every moment and challenge that life can throw at them. Because of this element of fun in their life, they tend to be a magnet for people who are on that similar wavelength of fun. A charismatic person will not publicly complain about any problems in their life, rather always focussing on that fun, and opportunity seeking feeling of abundance. They are sensitive to other peoples feelings of negativity, and try not to introduce any negativity into conversations.
Charismatic people have certain ways of behaving and carrying themselves which makes them insanely likeable. We want to know them, be like them and have friends like them. In many ways, you could describe them as ‘human behaviour at it’s best’.
Take a journal and ask yourself how you could improve in yourself the five core elements listed above. You could even ask a trusted friend, where you could improve. Self improvement always starts with self awareness.
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