When you think of the qualities that a good leader should possess, what comes to mind? Probably kindness, responsibility, and organizational skills. They also should be good at time management, and have respect for the people below them.
But how important are those qualities if you aren’t able to inspire others to act in the same ways? That’s called charisma — and having a lot of it is essential for being a leading force for good.
Charisma might come naturally to you, but it can also be learned. Being charismatic is one of the most positive traits a person can possess. Let’s learn how to obtain it so you can strengthen bonds with everyone around you.
What is Charisma?
You’ve heard people say it all the time, and you know that charisma is a good thing. But what exactly is it? Charisma is defined as exercising a compelling charm which inspires devotion to others. So if you’re a charismatic person, you’re able to positively influence and interact with the people around you.
In a research study, it was found that charisma consists of two different facets:
- Influence: Leadership ability and strength of “presence.” Basically, how well a person is able to persuade and impact those around them.
- Affability: Being approachable and pleasant. How likely are other people to approach someone for help, assistance, or leisure.
Charisma is the result of communication and interpersonal skills, which means it’s entirely possible to develop and improve it with practice.
Why is Charisma Important?
When you’re charismatic, it allows you to foster a mutual respect with those around you. This means that people will want to see you succeed just as much as you do.
It helps to use an example. Let’s say you’re starting your own cotton candy business (fun!). You get everything together and you hire a few employees to start. The first year or two will be hard as you try to get the business up and running, and morale can diminish quickly. However, if you have faith in your employees, treating them with respect and genuine interest, your employees will work harder to make sure that your cotton candy business thrives.
If you decide to start a cotton candy business, please let us know (we’re hungry!). But you also don’t have to be an entrepreneur to be charismatic. Having the desire to see your friends and family succeed is contagious. When you’re supportive of others, you’ll receive that same support back.
How to Know if You’re Charismatic
You can take a self-test to see how charismatic you are. These are surprisingly accurate — just be honest with yourself!
Rank yourself on a scale from one to five against these six statements. Five is the highest:
- I have a presence in a room
- I have the ability to influence people
- I know how to lead a group
- I can get along with anyone
- I make people feel comfortable
- I smile at people often
Once you’ve added up your total, just divide by six to get your charisma score. Anything above 3.7 is considered to be higher than average.
Of course, this isn’t a fool-proof way to measure your charisma, and it’s not necessarily a quantifiable trait. So even if you score low or high, this isn’t set in stone. There is always room to be more charismatic!
How to Build Charisma
Being charismatic isn’t a one-time thing; you can practice it all your life. You can build charisma while still being yourself. In fact, these tips and tricks might help you be an even better version of yourself than you ever were.
Be a Good Listener
One of the most important qualities of a leader is being able to listen and absorb the concerns, hardships, or fears of those around you. Use non-verbal cues like smiling or nodding to show that you are 100% present in the conversation, but don’t interrupt verbally.
And while offering advice is great, try not to do it unless asked. This can make the conversation less about them and more about you.
Make listening a priority. This will help you gain trust and respect from the people around you.
Be Generous with Praise
Think about how great it feels when someone tells you how amazing you’re doing. That warm feeling inside is a sense of pride, and it can be a great, positive boost to someone’s day. No one ever receives enough praise, so if someone in your life does something great, tell them!
Not only will people feel validated in receiving praise, but they’ll also really appreciate the fact that you notice what they do. It’ll make someone feel accomplished. And who knows, maybe they’ll be a bit more likely to return the favor in the near future.
The benefits of physically smiling can go a very long way. In fact, smiling can lower blood pressure, improve your mood, and relieve stress. If it can do all of that for yourself, think about what it can do for other people.
Smiling makes you seem more attractive and approachable, which can gain trust in co-workers, friends, or family to come to you if they’re ever feeling down or just want some company.
Similarly, a sense of humor can go a really long way in building your charisma. When it comes to dating, partners are more likely to date someone who is funny, as this will likely equate to a more positive and happy overall lifestyle. This extends outside of romantic relationships. Being funny, or having a good sense of humor, can make you much more affable and easygoing.
Focus on Giving, Not Receiving
When it comes to being a leader, it’s no secret that you’re hoping to gain something out of it. Going back to that cotton candy business (that we haven’t stopped thinking about), you’ll naturally want the business to be successful so you can earn money and spread the joy of puffy sugar across the globe.
However, when you approach situations selfishly, you’re less inclined to treat people with respect. And if someone notices that you’re only in it for yourself, they won’t want to help you out.
Think about what you can give to those around you. Can you pay them more, can you bring donuts for the office, can you lend a shoulder to cry on when necessary? In turn, these actions will result in you receiving more, as the morale of those around you will increase tremendously.
However, don’t worry about whether or not you will receive someday. You will — just let it happen naturally.
Be Enthusiastic and Excitable
This article has made it pretty clear that other people will respond to your actions and behaviors appropriately based on how you present yourself. If you have a sullen, murky mindset, the morale of those around you will hit rock bottom.
It’s important to change your perception that is purely focused on positivity. For example, you don’t have to go to a meeting. You get to go to a meeting with some really cool, awesome people. And you don’t have to work late tonight. You get to work late tonight in order to provide for your family, employees, and the strength of your company.
Let’s be honest, you might not actually be excited about any of those things. But if you act like it, you might spread some cheer to those around you. You might even be able to convince yourself that all of this isn’t so bad, which can improve your productivity and balance your mood down the line.
Last but not least, it is important to be able to acknowledge your own failings and wrongdoings. Taking accountability for your own mistakes instead of blaming others is essential for inspiring those around you.
Giving off the impression that you’re perfect will create unrealistic standards for others, and it can make you seem a bit pompous. Don’t be afraid to share your mistakes and the lessons you’ve learned from them.
If people can realize that your success was attainable despite some screw-ups along the way, you’ll give them hope that they can one day be just like you!
Being charismatic means you’ve got a charm that’s able to inspire and attract others around you. This is imperative for mutual respect. But even if you fall a bit short on the charisma scale, it’s never too late to try to improve.
The keys to being charismatic are related to affability and influence. Enhance your affability by being an active listener, smiling, and being generous with praise. Then, work on your influence by recognizing your mistakes, and focusing on what you can give rather than what you can receive.
These will be great tools to assist you in that cotton candy endeavor (wink) or really any relationship that you have with other people. Your charisma is contagious!
And what else is worth smiling about? Smile CBD gummies and oils actually have some of the same positive benefits of physically throwing on a grin. With relief from feelings of restlessness and stress, plus some boosts to your focus and clarity, it’s easy to be charismatic with a little boost from CBD!