Previously in this series, we thought about Influence. A great complement to that quality is today’s topic: CHARISMA.
I find the idea of “Charisma” hugely interesting.
It’s one of those qualities of being that is, at once: founded in you, but manifest in others. Something that’s completely personal, yet universally understood. That “extra something special”: which is perhaps why it’s so difficult to define, yet we know it instinctive, when we see and experience it.
Already, there’s a few bold ideas there. And perhaps that’s why we often think of charisma as something you either have of you don’t. But like any behaviour, charisma can be learned and developed.
Here are some brain-based thoughts to help you access your charismatic self.
The experience of you
Your charisma is a quality experienced by others. We’re impressed and influenced by you and your charisma.
So when thinking about becoming a more charismatic leader, a great place to start is with the experience you would wish others to have of you and your leadership.
Take a moment now to think of a few choice words to capture the essence of your charisma, as experienced by others. Here’s a few to start you off: magnetic; vibrant; dynamic; courageous; inspirational.
Perhaps the most important word to add to your list is “authentic”.
The word “authenticity” is much used, little exercised – especially in the workplace. So I like to suggest 2 very simple thoughts to bring your most-authentic (and so, most-charismatic) self to the fore:
- Be true to your values.
- Speak from the heart.
Perhaps that seems a little over-simplistic. But imagine: if we were all to do that, how much more authentic we could positively claim to be.
A working model for charisma
Releasing our most charismatic self is easier for some than others. So it can be helpful to have a model of charisma in mind, as you work on developing the key ingredients.
Based on that core “authentic experience of you” we’ve already identified, here’s a 5-part model for your most charismatic self.
- Positive External Focus: Interested in the importance of others.
- Infectious Positivity: Eliciting positive states in others.
- Styling & Image: Looking good to feel good.
- Archetypal: Embodying an archetype.
- Owning the Frame: Owning the space, present in the moment.
Charisma happens differently in different circumstances. We must adapt to each context we face. Think about how this model might play-out at the next moment you’d most wish your charisma to show-up.
A brain-based approach to boost your charisma
Our nervous system doesn’t know the difference between something “real” and something vividly imagined. Which is why visualisation and similar techniques are so powerful – we’re teaching our brain something it hasn’t yet done.
Let’s use that now to boost your charisma:
- Think of a role model you consider charismatic.
- Close your eyes. And imagine that role model standing a pace in front of you.
- Take a moment to notice their physiology. How they stand, breathe, move.
- And now, with eyes still closed: step into that person.
- Copy their methodology. And so borrow (and enjoy) their feelings of charisma.
- Now open your eyes. And carry that charisma into your day.
Accessing your most charismatic self
We all have the potential to be more charismatic. And as the perfect complement to impact and influence, it’s a great leadership quality to have at your disposal.
A brain-based approach gives us more opportunity to learn and develop that quality of being.
In the final part of the “Brain-based Approach for Stand-out Leadership” series: CONFIDENCE.