What is ‘charisma’ and do we need it?

How to engage people without being a class clown.

Why are some people considered charismatic?

You could think someone was oozing with charisma while I found them to be an arrogant bore who reminded me of my ex. Neither of us is right or wrong. Our response will be influenced by our baggage and our own character.

“charismatic”, “eccentric”, “flamboyant”, “different”, “intelligent”.

But look how the words flip into something far less desirable when coming from those who did not like him —

“buffoon”, “idiot”, “liar”, “clown”, “untrustworthy”.

Feelings about someone’s charisma factor are based on emotions and the judgement is subjective.

What are the ingredients of ‘Boris Charisma’?

A quick rummage through YouTube clips of interviews with Boris and Keir throws up some blatant charisma ‘vibe’ differences.

  1. Use of personal names. Boris says ‘Beth’ frequently — Keir makes no attempt to bridge the gap by using her name.
  2. Playfulness and element of surprise. Boris will bring humour in at the first opportunity with his classic ‘naughty kid’ vibe — Keir lacks a sense of spontaneity.
  3. Variety of pitch and pace. Boris varies pitch and pace. Keir is monotone and lacks ‘rough edges’ to his conversation.
  4. Ability to lead the conversation. Boris sneaks in and changes direction of the conversation to suit — Keir seems awkward when doing anything other than following the question with an answer to that question.
  5. Feelings more than facts. Boris chucks everyday emotive words and concepts around — Keir is hot on factual detail.

It was the manner rather than the matter of Mr Macmillan’s speech which was important…. He looked the viewer in the eye and managed to both look ‘sad’ at Sir Anthony’s retirement — and confident, about the future, without seeming over-confident. He appeared a good solid man in whom any family might trust — even a little dull, as all dependable men may be allowed to be at times…

From ‘Personality Appearance and Speech’ by T.H Pear

How come he could get admired for this when Keir is slated for the same quality?

Charisma is the mask behind which awful leaders climb and the blocker to those truly great leaders that do not possess it. Roger Philby

What about the ‘bad boy’ appeal?

What is charisma?

If you want to go deep on the origins and evolution of the word — go here! But for now — let’s just say there is an elusive, enigmatic quality involved as there is in the term ‘x-factor’ — difficult to define — it just is.

The 3 key ingredients of authentic charisma?

  • Integrity.

The rewards of developing your authentic charisma?

People listen to you — willingly.

Being charismatic does not depend on how much time you have but on how fully present you are in each interaction.

When you grow in confidence that is built on solid foundations not arrogance, entitlement or showmanship — you keep growing your authentic charisma.

Writing about all the stuff that has an impact on our impact. Communication skills and mindset. Author of The Mystery of The Squashed Self. www.trishalewis.com