When holding my 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership Mastermind Groups, one of the interesting topics of discussion is usually around ‘charisma’, and usually centred around whether charisma is innate or can be learned, and the value of charisma.
When we look around, it is not difficult to see that there is a much greater likelihood that those who radiate charisma are more successful in their careers, businesses and leadership positions. However, there is good news for those who charisma may not be their greatest strength; according to a 2005 study by British psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman, charisma is only 50% innate and is 50% learned, meaning that just about anyone can rev up their level of charisma to help achieve their professional – and personal – short term and long term goals.
Charisma: The Ultimate Trump Card
Let's face it, for most job roles or opportunities out there, a number of us all have the same or similar credentials, experience, and training. However, if you're looking to break out of the mould and really stand out, then charisma is an absolute must-have. Charisma is listed as one of the key leadership characteristics in John Maxwell’s The 21 irrefutable Laws of Leadership, and it is also often what holds managers back from higher leadership positions in the workplace, like CEO, COO and President.
Also, charisma is not only a great tool for climbing the corporate ladder; by having charisma, one is better able to interact with their colleagues, team members, as well as communicate more clearly with clients and the public at large, and appear more favourable, which can always work to one’s benefit.
How to Develop Charisma
1. Understanding the Needs of Others
Once you understand the needs of people you interact with, you become more knowledgeable and ultimately more confident and therefore are far more likely to exude charisma towards clients, colleagues, and stakeholders.
2. Be Open and Authentic
Many times, people are able to read if you are pretending or holding back information, which could inhibit their willingness to connect with you or view you as not trustworthy. Be courageous to be yourself, speak out constructively but sensibly and sensitively, offer ‘outside of the box’ solutions and present exciting new concepts confidently at work, all these add up in naturally emanating charisma.
3. Ask for Feedback
Build an inner circle around you from whom you can seek feedback to help you grow, this could include mentors, your managers, colleagues, clients, and even family and friends. Have periodic check-ins from time to time for their recommendations or praise to help with your growth and make changes where necessary.
4. Learn Open Body Posture
As confident as your words may be, if your body says otherwise, you'll be sending the wrong message. You can make yourself appear more approachable simply by appearing engaged, which means having an open stance (i.e. don't cross your arms or look at your phone) and avoid any self-comfort gestures such as touching your face, picking your fingernails or tapping your foot.
5. Approach Others
As much as one may want to roll up into a ball and shy away from others or be comfortable being introverted, charismatic individuals are those that display a genuine interest towards others. Ask questions and be open-minded! If someone decides to start a conversation with you, turn yourself towards them, be thoughtful, and be receptive. After all, the more you learn about those around you, the better you'll be able to communicate with them going forward.
The more charisma you have, the more effective you will be as a leader, the better able you are to network successfully, the higher you are able to rise in the workplace, and the more likely you are to endear clients and others to yourself.
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Yvonne is a Change Consultant, Coach and Speaker who is passionate about working with Individuals, Entrepreneurs and Organisations to implement change, drive results and achieve their goals. She can be reached at: www.facebook.com/oliveblueinc, www.twitter.com/oliveblueinc, www.oliveblue.com
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