Charisma is a set of qualities, that give a person extraordinary influence on other people. The term itself is usually used with reference to leadership in politics or business. The truth is, that not only politicians or bosses may be charismatic. Leadership is an important factor in family dynamics or in other small groups, such as school class or sports team. The studies suggest, that charismatic leaders present specific behaviours, that make them perceived as exceptionally influential. This means, that beside from inborn qualities, there are some patterns of behaviour that may help you become more charismatic.
First of all, charismatic leaders are not afraid of standing out. The studies have proven, that the best way to leadership is being different or behaving differently. If you struggle with feeling underestimated, try to express your opinion more frequently, even if it is different from everyone else’s. The magic of charisma is that you do not have convince people to be on your side – they simply follow the person who believes in what he or she says.
Secondly, if you want to be perceived as charismatic, you should learn how to get respect without being aggressive. Even if you do not share somebody’s believes, show them that you understand why they might think in certain way. For example, while discussing a controversial topic, you can use phrases, like: “You make a good point, I understand why you think like that”. If you acknowledge the points presented by other people, they will be more likely to change their mind.
Moreover, you can only become a good leader when you are useful. Find the skill that makes you stand out from the crowd and work on it. If you have something special and useful for other people, you will become more charismatic. It can be anything: from building to baking, from speaking numerous languages to solving math equations. Make a difference in your group and they will appreciate you more.
Another useful tip is to work on your body posture. This is relatively easiest thing to apply in your everyday life. Studies have proven, that not only your posture changes the way you are perceived, but also it can change your attitude. Try to work on keeping an eye-contact when you talk to somebody. Avoid looking at your phone screen, when you talk. Apart from that, use expansive gestures – use your hands to gesticulate and express yourself. It will help you feel more confident about yourself and you will be perceived as such a person.
To sum up, being charismatic may be useful in any group – from families to the entire nations. You can improve your charisma in many ways. Work on your confidence, don’t be afraid of being different and treat others with respect.
Senior, C., Martin, R., Thomas, G., Topakas, A., West, M., & Yeats, R. M. (2012). Developmental stability and leadership effectiveness. The Leadership Quarterly, 23(2), 281-291.
Magda Domańska is a master’s-degree student at the University of Warsaw, Poland. She is interested in educational psychology and family therapy. She is participating in a summer internship programme at Willingness.com.mt.