14 May Infographic: How Can We Cultivate Our Charisma?
Based on an article published in El Comercio newspaper (Peru) on September 07, 2014
Many people think charisma is for politicians. And they do very little to develop their own. However, they later find they need it badly when they want to close an important deal, sell their professional services or go to a job interview. And those who do develop their charisma have a considerable competitive edge: it is easier for them to win people’s trust and affection. Charismatic people “connect” more quickly with people they have just met, tend to be more popular, and are remembered as more charming, and even more capable. That is why they are chosen more often in selection processes and are even their boss’s favorite.
Can one become charismatic? Yes, if we know a few basic concepts and practice them daily. First, maybe remembering that people love us for how we make them feel. The response is to make sure that in every interaction with us, people feel better about themselves. And the key for this: avoid arrogance at all costs, take a genuine and true interest in people, convey sincere warmth in our gestures and words, and focus on giving instead of receiving.
- Arrogance, looking down on others or feeling superior is not only unpleasant, offensive and abusive to others, but is also very damaging to the arrogant person, their image and relationships. Arrogance is the antithesis of charisma and completely destroys it. Nothing justifies arrogance: neither success or power, money or a good appearance. Neither does an impressive résumé, a career full of promotions and achievements, or a flawless academic background.
- On the other hand, feigned interestis quickly noticed and implies manipulation, generating instant distrust. Charisma is closely related to our authenticity and the genuine interest we have for others, in their life, interests and well-being. Without genuine interest for the other person, interpersonal relationships are weak and one-directional; relationships cannot be genuine or real.
- Sincere warmth toward others is synonymous with caring, appreciation and esteem. It is about caring sincerely for others. Warmth allows us to earn other people’s trust, and being trustworthy or not is the first thing that people decide about us (even more than talent or capability). And having earned trust, communication and cooperation then flow openly and naturally. It is very important to remember that warmth is shown not only with words but fundamentally with our body language. Otherwise, it is off-key and all credibility is lost.
- Charismatic people are generous in giving recognition, sincere in giving and showing acceptance and openly approve of the people with whom they interact. They do not spare praise (always sincerely and moderately of course) and doing so does not make them feel less than anyone. On the contrary, charismatic people are perceived as very self-confident and also as very dependable, because they show their real selves and are not afraid to recognize others or put their respect or appreciation for them into words.
Though charisma does not replace talent, effort or ethics, it does miracles for one’s personal brand, career, and business and, certainly, for one’s relationships with others, which are the key to personal and professional success.