It’s a common misconception that charisma is the luck of the draw.
Many people believe that you are born either with or without it and that you can’t teach it.
There are people who claim to teach charisma and will focus on tips on body language, eye contact, voice tonality, appearance etc., and while all of that may make you look more confident, if it is not aligned with who you are at your core, it will appear fake and contrived.
Politicians for example, are often taught to appear more ‘charismatic’ to better connect with the electorate. However, put them in a heated TV debate and the polished veneer will often crack as the true character starts to bare his/her ragged teeth!
Global Charisma Guru, Nikki Owen, has a wonderful definition of charisma, developed during her 30 years of research and rigorous testing into the impact of charismatic leaders.
“Charisma is an authentic power that captivates the hearts and minds of others”
The key word there is ‘authentic’, when we are being true to who we are at our core, when we recognise and celebrate our uniqueness, we exude a magnetic energy which is totally irresistible.
So why develop our charisma? What difference will it make to our business and our life?
Charismatic people –
- Are known to be happier and healthier than their less charismatic counterparts.
- Value themselves and are comfortable in their own skin thereby making people around them feel comfortable in their presence.
- Find doors opening for them that remain closed to others.
- Experience opportunities lining up almost effortlessly.
- Are remembered long after an event and are far more likely to be contacted and referred to ideal connections
Charismatic Leaders are 68% more effective than their less charismatic colleagues. (Harvard Business Review ad The University of Lausanne)
So how can we become more genuinely ‘charismatic’?
I am sure you will have heard the phrase – ‘thoughts become things’, but what does that actually mean?
Nikki Owen’s brilliant ‘Communication Model’ takes us through the various stages of absorbing, filtering and processing information to the resulting behaviour and energy we exude in our interactions with others.
So if we spend our time watching news from war-torn countries, despairing over politics and the socio-economic issues all around us and engrossed in violent, distressing TV, it will occupy our thoughts, our dreams and ultimately impact on the way we feel and behave.
Similarly, of we spend our time with negative, ‘glass half empty’ people, they will feast on our natural energy like vampires at a Halloween party and leave us feeling lifeless and depleted.
We in turn will then drain the energy of the people we interact with.
Dr Bruce Lipton’s study of cellular biology shows that we are only ever in one of 2 mechanisms – survival or growth.
The trillions of cells in our body have a small gateway which is open when we are in ‘growth’ mode and closed when we are in ‘survival’.
‘Survival’ happens when we are stressed, cortisol and adrenaline are coursing round our body and the cells sense toxins and shut the gates. Whilst it’s great to keep out the harmful toxins, the feel good hormones and nutrients from our food are also excluded which is why long-term stress leads to chronic illness.
We become self-absorbed and we are seen as ‘selfish’ because we have no energy or motivation to support others
When we are happy, motivated, living in ‘flow’, doing the work we love, the feel-good hormones, serotonin and oxytocin and our cells are operating in growth. We feel and look well and we exude a glowing energy, which draws people to us who just feel good in our space. We are happy to help and support others and we are seen as being ‘self-less’.
The founding pillar of charisma is ‘self-esteem’ and only when we fully value ourselves and the unique gifts we have to offer, can we truly shine as the person we were born to be.
Some people see taking time for themselves every day as being selfish – it is actually absolutely essential.
A great analogy is using oxygen masks on an airplane. There is no point in trying to put someone else’s mask on for them if you are running out of breath and turning blue.
When we take time for our selves we are subconsciously saying ‘I matter enough to take time to be the best version of me’.
This is a bit of a soapbox topic for me because it has made a massive difference to my life, my business, my friendships etc. So rather than writing another list of top tips – here are some of the things that work best for me –
- I start every day early with meditation, yoga, toning exercises, fresh vegetable juice and then a nutritious breakfast, so by the time I get to my desk or work with clients, I am feeling amazing.
- I plan my time carefully using a daily Greatness Business Planner so I feel I am getting the most out of my working day and moving my business forwards.
- I take proper regular breaks, and get out in the fresh air as much as possible.
- I eat well throughout the day with plenty of good protein and at least 10 veg/fruit per day plus stay hydrated with a constant flow of herbal/green teas/water.
- I get 7-8 hours sleep every night.
- I work in good natural light as much as possible.
- I work with a business coach/mentor to redefine goals track progress and keep me accountable for actions.
- I network extensively and surround myself with positive, inspirational people who motivate me to keep on stretching and growing.
- I am constantly learning, investing in training and increasing my knowledge and skills so I have more to offer my clients and prospects.
- I have a wonderful virtual team who help and support me every day and do many of the tasks that take me out of flow and drain my energy.
This may all sound rather ‘selfish’, however I find that taking proper care of me means I have so much more to give to others and it increases one of the other pillars of charisma namely – ‘sensory awareness’.
When we feel valued, safe and supported we are much more aware of the feelings and actions of people around us. We have much more to give and our presence and energy will leave a lasting impact on them.
People with high self-esteem and acute sensory awareness usually have a 3rd pillar of charisma – ‘compelling vision’. They know what they want in life, they have a very clear vision of their future and they are constantly moving towards that vision with a razor sharp focus.
This compelling vision engages a 4th pillar of charisma -‘driving force’. This is the power that gets us out of bed in the morning, keeps us moving forwards even when we sometimes don’t feel like it and propels us over the many obstacles that will appear in our pathway.
These 4 pillars of charisma –
- Sensory awareness
- Compelling Vision
- Driving Force
all feed the 5th pillar of charisma – ENERGY.
When we are in growth, feeling good about ourselves, fired up, working towards our vision we effortlessly exude that magnetic energy which is totally irresistible.
We step up and shine, we are being the person we were born to be
“Have the inner strength to let go of whatever it is you are clinging to so that you can revel in the wonder of being you. Because when you are being you, is when your star shines most brightly and that is the secret of charisma”.
Richard Bach Illusions