I had often wondered how some people just seem to have it all together. These people are good at communicating, energizing and motivating others. It is something we truly cannot define, but some people just have it. It’s called charisma. Natural charisma could lose its impact especially when you add familiarity.
However, some people are remarkably charismatic. They cultivate and maintain great relationships, consistently and positively influencing the people around them; making them feel better about themselves and as such everyone wants to be around them.
Charisma tends to increase your chances of being successful in any area of your life. Science has been fascinated by the concept and found that charisma is a quality everyone can develop; not necessarily an inborn trait.
By examining the traits that charismatic people exhibit, we can certainly grow to become charismatic ourselves.
According to Ronald Riggio PhD, professor of leadership and organizational psychology at Claremont McKenna College, Charisma has three main ingredients:
- Expressiveness – A knack for striking up conversations spontaneously and easily conveying feelings.
- Control – The ability to fine-tune your persona to fit the mood and social makeup of any group.
- Sensitivity – A gift for listening.
Let us share 10 typical traits that we know can be found in charismatic people:
There is a certain confidence that charismatic people exude. According to the Harvard Business review, confidence can be so alluring that people are willing to trust anyone who expresses it. Researchers have noted that showing confidence is more dominant in establishing trust than past performance. Charismatic people literally light up a room with confidence when they walk in.
2. They are attentive and listen to others
Charismatic individuals know how to make people feel valued. People like to be around them because of this. This is because they’ve trained themselves to be attentive to people whom they interact with.
Simple habits like asking questions, maintaining eye contact, smiling, responsiveness, verbal or nonverbal cues, are some of the things they do actively. It’s not surprising that studies have found that eye contact heavily influences likability, trustworthiness, and attractiveness. Listening shows that they care a lot more than offering advice.
“Charisma is not just saying hello. It’s dropping what you’re doing to say hello.” – Robert Brault
3. They’re passionate and show it
Charismatic people tend to be quite passionate about what they believe in. This passion motivates people around them to act.
Behavioral Science has shown that strong emotions can be contagious. A prominent researcher in this area, Dr. Elaine Hatfield, has conducted several studies showing how people “grab” the emotions of others.
For example, if you have a friend who is always critical about everyone, you’ll soon find yourself to be critical of other people. Likewise, being around someone who’s passionate and optimistic is likely to inspire you to think and behave that way also.
4. They are approachable
Charismatic people are often seen as warm and approachable. Most people would rather get to trust and get closer to you if they perceive you to be warm.
According to Dr. Robert Zajonic, facial muscles contract to produce a smile that allows for increased blood flows to the brain which lowers the brain temperature and produces feelings of pleasure and happiness.
Studies have also shown that smiling is linked to how approachable and competent someone is. You want to hone your charismatic skills, then smile.
5. No self importance
Charismatic people have no bone of self-importance in their bodies. They are simple, easily relatable, with no airs.
This doesn’t mean they are not knowledgeable. In fact, they know quite a lot, and are kind in dispensing the information that they have. The only people that can be impressed by self- importance are those who are pretentious, and act self-important also.
6. They have a cause
Throughout the 20th century, sociologist Max Weber’s study of charisma says that a charismatic person has a clear vision for the future and boldly advances towards it. They are people who talk about ideas that are bigger than themselves.
An example of this kind of person would be the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, who on recruiting Pepsi CEO John Sculley, pointedly asked if he wanted to sell sugared water for the rest of his life, or if he wanted a chance to change the world?
7. Genuine interest in others
Confident and charismatic people usually prefer to shine the spotlight on others. They motivate people. Telling others how much of a good job they’ve been doing is essential.
Not only will people who are drawn to you appreciate your praise, but they will also appreciate the fact that you pay attention to what they’re doing. It brings a sense of accomplishment to them. Then they’ll feel a little more accomplished and more important.
In other words, they give credit where credit is due. If they are recognized for a success, they shower the praises on everyone else and empower people without expecting anything in return. Conversely, if anything goes wrong, they aren’t afraid to take the blame.
“There is no better friendship booster than the ability to listen. The ability to show genuine interest in others an admirable quality of a true friend.” – Phil Callaway
8. Belief in themselves
Even though people have doubts about what they are doing and their abilities, charismatic people don’t allow those doubts to influence their interactions with people whom they motivate.
9. They encourage self disclosure
Charismatic people ask insightful questions which make others share things about themselves. Studies from Harvard researchers, prove that sharing information about ourselves impacts our brains.
It’s also confirmed that our brains are literally wired to enjoy sharing information about ourselves. Being charismatic is less about you and more about how you make others feel.
10. They are generous
According to Professor Grant at the Wharton school of business, there are three types of people; the taker, the matcher and the giver. Charismatic people are givers and altruistic. They give without looking for anything in return.