“Charisma is a learnable set of skills which can be built and, when embodied, become a highly desirable characteristic”
A brief internet search will tell you that the word charisma comes from the Greek “kharisma” – meaning “gift,” or “favored by God” and is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.” An in-depth search of the literature will turn up some material on what exactly constitutes charisma, but less useful material on how to develop it. Charisma, personal presence, gravitas, magnetism, ‘that special something,’ there are many ways of talking about the elusive quality that some leaders have which makes people want to follow them. Charisma is a crucial factor for success and without it Obama would not have been elected.
Course outline :
- Projection vs. charisma
Learn the distinction between projected authority and charisma. Some people appear impressive because you know of their social status and project this onto them. Charismatic people on the other hand come across as impressive from the moment you meet them, even if you know nothing about them.
- Health, energy and appearance – The basis of charisma is health. Charismatic people need not have perfect smiles or gym bodies, but they do have a vitality and abundance of life. They also nearly always manage their appearance well. Perhaps it is animal instinct to follow healthy individuals.
- Discover the role of the body – Charisma is an embodied quality. I say this as it is apparent from the moment an individual walks into a room and is the same across cultures. The vocal style and choice of words of course makes a huge impact (Obama also has a great speech writer), but the basis is embodied. When I say embodied, I mean charisma is conveyed by posture and movement and tends to make charismatic individuals attractive in all senses of the word.
- Connection to a higher vision – Charismatic individuals seem connected to a bigger driving force beyond their own gain. Obama inspires hope through his sense of vision and purpose (as did Blair and Thatcher). Brown does not appear to be communicating how he might be in touch with a larger “for the sake of what?”
- Build Self esteem & Presence – Charismatic individuals like themselves and have high levels of grounded confidence.
- Uniqueness – Self Confidence and Charisma is a learnable set of skills which can be built and which, when embodied, become a highly desirable characteristic.