What is Charisma?

Darryl Bachmeier
Jun 16, 2020

Everyone has one time or the other experienced this unexplainable pull and attraction to another person they find admirable, alluring and charming. These are people that we look up to and sometimes refer to as role models. A popular example of some of the most admired people on earth include former FLOTUS Michelle Obama, Princess Diana, Nelson Mandela or Bill Gates. Apart from the fact that all of these people have made significant achievements throughout their lives, there is also something irresistible about them. When asked to give reasons why they admire these charming personalities the most, people blank out for seconds and the next thing you may hear is, ‘There is just something about him/her’. Most never come to the realization that the word they are looking for is ‘charisma’.

In truth, looking at it from the surface of things, charisma as a concept of human nature seems unquantifiable, but it still easy to tell when a person has much of it. It becomes evident in that undeniable attraction you feel for a character when they walk into a room even when you are well aware of their flaws. It is never easy to pinpoint what makes people like these so captivating and alluring, yet we all fall for them.

So what is it about charisma that makes it such a charming quality in an individual?

Charisma in the simplest of terms can be defined as a compelling charm that inspires attraction to the carrier and creates influence on the people around them. Charisma in a person can present itself through different manifestations. For some it is their gentle demeanor that inspires this attraction and for others it is their impeccable oratory skill that does the job. Charisma manifests itself in different forms. A popular misconception about charisma is the belief that it is an innate quality that people are born with. The truth is that charisma can be developed and improved.

To understand charisma better, it is necessary to look and identify the major components that make up this seemingly inexplicable trait and how they work together to make a person standout in a crowd.

We cannot talk about charisma without talking about presence, how a person fully owns the air around them once they enter a space. Charismatic people are people that engage fully during interactions. They exist in the present with their mental and emotional energy in full display. People are always in need of attention. We want to be loved. We want to know that someone is listening. Charismatic people understand this and they use this to gain the trust and confidence of the people around them. This kind of presence cannot be faked. It is either the real deal or there is nothing at all. Onlookers can easily tell when a person isn’t being true to themselves. This is something that sets charismatic people apart: they are always truly present.

People of charisma are warm to be around. The world is a cold place, literally, and just as it is in winter, we are always in search of a warm place to rest. Charismatic people provide a warm and safe place where people can rest their minds, hearts and souls from the coldness of the world. Ever asked yourself why you feel so safe and comfortable when you are around some people? It is because of the warmth in the charisma they exude. Warmth can be equated to a friend telling another, ‘Thank you for being there for me.” It is being referred to as ‘a shoulder to lean on’.

In the middle of the pull of charisma is a component called Power. This kind of power isn’t necessarily the political or spiritual kind. It means having the influence needed to affect the circle around you. It may be intellectual power, financial power, physical strength or oratory skills. Charismatic people possess at least one or a combination of some of those qualities that culminates into power.

These three components must be present before a person can be described as charismatic. If one is missing the whole equation loses it power. For instance, one can never truly exude warmth without being wholly present. A powerful person without warmth will be seen as arrogant and unapproachable, which makes charisma unattainable.

With these listed components, one can begin to identify some of the steps that can be taken to improve charisma.

One of such steps to take is the become a better conversationalist. Be a great listener during conversations. Tell great stories. Remember names. When talking to another party, keep it in mind to ensure that the spotlight never remains on you for too long. It is better to make the conversation revolve around the other party. Allow them express themselves. People will never forget you for that positive experience.

Body language also plays an important role both inside and outside of conversations. Keep a smile on your face and ease your stance. Introduce yourself with a handshake and nod while you listen. Understand your walking pattern and build your personal swagger. These are the factors that contribute to how memorable a person will be once they walk out of the room.

Without self-confidence, charisma doesn’t exist. Put it this way: A person’s charisma level is built on the foundation of self-confidence. Without self-confidence, every other component of charisma comes crashing down like a pack of cards. It begins with self-love and self-respect. Be happy with who you are and own your imperfections. People can’t look down on you if you haven’t already given them permission to do so.

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