We all know charismatic people, they can move anyone even the most strident unbeliever. Some people are naturally charismatic, while many of us are just “normal” people. The word finds it root in the Greek and carries the idea of “gifts from above or divine giftedness. Another such connotation is further defined as such as “filled with attractiveness or charm”, or “kindness”. Few connect George Washington outside of his great military leadership; we remember crossing the Delaware, the scenes at Valley Forge, but few know the personal charisma he held during an address at Newburgh, NY. It was on the tail of the war in March of 1781 and officers of the Continental Army were in great dissent over Congress not paying them. The furor had swollen into near treason and Washington found himself facing the need to confront the senior officials to set the record straight and quell the uprising. He appealed to their sense of honor but he also related to them in the most sincere way. He identified with their past suffering, which he had shared; he identified with their pain as a fellow-benefactor but he appealed to them and to their higher honor not to undo everything honorable thing that they had survived for the past seven years for the fleeting sake of sedition. As Washington stumbled over the closely-written letter, he paused momentarily to put on his glasses, remarking, in effect, “Gentlemen, you must pardon me. I have grown gray in your service and now find myself growing blind.” When he finished he quietly left but his leadership turned the tide. How? Because he connected himself to them by his blood, sweat, and tears, and he addressed them acknowledging their grievances yet calling for their higher honor. He was charismatic.
You may not realize it but you can foster a sense of connection and make yourself more charismatic with others. Jeff Haden from Inc. Magazine shares these 10 Traits of Remarkably Charismatic People:
1. They listen way more than they talk. Ask questions. Maintain eye contact. Smile. Frown. Nod. Connect nonverbally. Show others you care. It’s about them not you.
2. They don’t practice selective hearing. Remarkably charismatic people listen closely to everyone, and they make all of us, regardless of our position or social status or “level,” feel like we have something in common with them. We’re all people.
3. They put their stuff away. Toss the electronics. You can never connect with others if you’re busy connecting with your stuff. Give the gift of your full attention. That’s a gift few people give; be different.
4. They give before they receive–and often they never receive. Focus on what you can provide. Giving is the only way to establish a real connection and relationship. Show that the only person who really matters is you.
5. They don’t act self-important. Show people that you put your trousers or dress on just like them
6. Because they realize other people are more important. Your opinions and views are not important they’re already yours. You can’t learn anything from yourself.
7. They shine the spotlight on others. No one receives enough praise. Nobody. Tell people what they did well. If you don’t know what they did well then you’re wrong. Make it your business to notice.
8. They choose their words. The words you use impact the attitude of others. Take an inventory of the words that you use. If you need to overhaul your message and style, do it. Make others feel good about themselves; make them enthusiastic and happy.
9. They don’t discuss the failings of others. Dont be a party to gossip and don’t deman others or belittle them by laughing at them.
10. But they readily admit their failings. Incredibly successful people are often assumed to have charisma simply because they’re successful. Their success seems to create a halo effect, almost like a glow. You don’t have to be incredibly successful to be remarkably charismatic, but you do have to be incredibly genuine to be remarkably charismatic. Be humble. Share your mistakes. Laugh at yourself.
How can you train yourself to be more genuinely interested in people? Practice these to increase your charisma! Be compelling!