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Learning charisma: 15 tricks and ways for more charisma

Charisma is the stuff that legends are made of, that casts a spell over others, that makes little people powerful and managers into stars, that gives people a magical aura and enormous charisma. Some people are distinguished by their charisma and manage to put all others in the shade with their charisma.

Yet charisma can hardly be grasped or described. There is something special, almost magical, that characterizes charismatic people. We show what is behind the charisma and which tips you can use to improve your charisma ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Definition: what is charisma?

Charismatic people are the shamans of the modern age. They have that certain something, one Wow-Effect, the gift of enchanting others. A privilege that immediately makes you the center of attention. Synonyms for charisma are a particularly strong charisma, radiance or the presence of a person.

For the sociologist Max Weber, it was the people who, after the world had been disenchanted by science, enchanted it again. Weber interpreted charisma as the "exceptional, out of the ordinary and not accessible to everyone", which prompts people to "very personal devotion".

The term itself was originally coined by Christian theologians. They introduced the concept of the gift of grace almost two millennia ago and used it to describe people inspired by the Holy Spirit who have a special degree of wisdom, knowledge and faith.

Today, and especially in management, charisma is more of a special charisma, a gift and spirit of managers with a special effect, a mysterious part of their personality that gives them an almost magical and irresistible aura. It makes them a brand (also read our free personal branding PDF).

However, the book author and charisma trainer Julia Sobainsky says: “Charisma is an ascribed quality. One cannot say of oneself: I have charisma. Others do that. "

One thing is certain: charisma makes people popular. Charismatics act exceptionally, think outside the box and are independent of the opinion of others. Numerous politicians and personalities are said to have this gift and charisma. Yet charisma remains an elusive quality. The charisma appears almost mysterious to others who simply cannot break away from it. But one cannot put one's finger on exactly what characterizes charisma. The business magazine “Fortune” already oracle: “You feel it when you see it”.

The 4 types of charisma

In her book "The Charisma Myth", Olivia Fox Cabane distinguishes four completely different types of charisma, which have just as different effects on people:

  • Focused charisma (Bill Gates, Mahatma Gandhi)
    Charismatics of this type exude a tremendous presence. You seem wide awake, listen carefully and understand quickly. People with focused charisma immediately fill the room. Our response to that: admiration.
  • Authoritarian charisma (Barack Obama, Margaret Thatcher)
    This form of charism is primarily based on strong self-confidence. The self-confident charisma pulls others under its spell and gives the wearer a high status and influence. Above all, those around them feel appreciation and awe.
  • Visionary charisma (Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King)
    People with this charism have strong faith or vision that they are deeply convinced of. This inspires others and spurs them on to excellence. Visionary charismatics motivate and inspire.
  • Friendly charisma (Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa)
    Kind charisma cannot be trained - it is an attitude. Deeply authentic, warm and empathic. People around you immediately feel accepted, loved and secure. The relationship giants among the charismatics.

Can charisma be learned?

For a long time it was clear: Charisma cannot be learned, it is innate. You either have it or you don't. But that's a mistake. Charisma is not an innate character trait, but, as already mentioned above, an external perception. Other than ourselves decide whether we have it or not.

Whether charisma is (in part) in the genes remains a matter of dispute. After all, science has now researched the phenomenon more intensively, condensing five essential characteristics that characterize charismatics:

  • inspirationthat motivates;
  • individualitythat impresses;
  • intellectwho encourages;
  • idealismwho calms down.
  • And a Body languagethat is as mysterious as it is sovereign.

You will already notice that a lot of it is related to a strong sense of self-worth. The charismatic aura that attracts and inspires us all is the intense and seemingly unshakable self-confidence that someone possesses, no matter what he or she does.

“Courage is one of the most important characteristics of a charismatic,” says charisma trainer Julia Sobainsky. They break new ground, pursue their visions. Doing this consciously shows creative creativity, idealism, perseverance and conviction. All of them are qualities that make people charismatic. "

The good news about it: Much of it can be learned, trained and refined through practice. Everyone has some charisma in them and can reinforce that through training.

Properties that make you more charismatic

The above characteristics are essential for every charismatic personality, there are also other characteristics that contribute to charisma, cast a spell over the environment or fascinate listeners and conversation partners. Some of them are deeply anchored in the character, most of them can be learned or specifically strengthened:

We have listed further aspects that make a person charismatic in this free PDF for you!

Charisma: 15 exercises and tips for more charisma

It is difficult to judge one's charisma. After all, it's about the external impact, charisma and perception of other people - so who says I am extremely charismatic, expresses wish rather than reality.

After all: Charisma can be learned - in part. First of all, it takes the understanding that charisma flashes and does not shine around the clock. In order to use your charisma, it is not about getting up in the morning, standing in front of the mirror with a captivating look or being enchanted with your aura behind closed doors. It is important to bring the charisma to the point and then use it when it can achieve the greatest effect: in front of others, in critical or difficult situations. It is certainly not easy, but with practice you can master this art. With these tips you can improve your charismatic aura:

Work on your confidence

It is the framework on which charisma can be built. If you lack self-confidence, you will not be able to come out of yourself and be open to others. Instead, you withdraw more and more into the background, try to hide and instead of pulling others under your spell, they become almost invisible. You take an important step when you learn to accept and love yourself for who you are - including all your strengths and weaknesses. With this certainty, you can appear with a high degree of certainty, which everyone else present also feels.

Give you greatness

Amateurs who want to become more charismatic want to appear taller themselves and be admired for it. Error! The trick of the true charismatics is to make others around them feel like the star. Charisma is the art of enchanting others, not miniaturizing them. Make others feel like they can get bigger, build people up, be positive (without slime) - and you automatically develop a center of gravity.

Develop optimism

If you are facing a challenge or want to solve a problem, you should be confident that you can do it. Only with this attitude can you radiate charisma. Otherwise you will only appear insecure or even desperate, which will certainly not be noticed positively. Practice being optimistic about things instead of just saying bad things. If you approach tasks with the right attitude, this will also be reflected in your charisma and effect on others.

Dress appropriately

Two different factors play a role here. On the one hand the classic dress to impress. In shorts and a T-shirt nobody develops the same external effect as in a well-fitting suit. You will immediately be given more attention, you appear more serious, more impressive, more important. All psychological effects, the effect of which, however, should not be underestimated. However, you should also feel comfortable in your skin - and clothes - and the appearance must still suit you. If you feel that a suit is not the right choice for you, find another outfit. There are many elegant and impressive alternatives.

Be honestly curious

Pretended interest is quickly exposed as such. True curiosity and an honest interest in other people, on the other hand, increase charisma. You build trust more quickly, appear accessible and exude sympathy. Hardly anyone can escape such an aura.

Work on your body language

A lanky gait, sagging shoulders, wobbly knees - people have a good feel for someone else's body language. Even the smallest details are unconsciously perceived and interpreted. If you want to develop more charisma, you need to incorporate your body language into it. Maintain body tension and use gestures and facial expressions. You can see how strong the effect can be, for example, in lectures or speeches. Those who speak self-confidently and with body tension, at the same time using large gestures to underline their own words, appear much more engaging, more convincing and ultimately more charismatic.

Be authentic

Anyone who disguises themselves and plays something to others does not develop charisma. It seems much more charismatic when you appear authentic and show yourself for who you really are. Don't force yourself into a role that you are not. That doesn't seem charismatic, but dishonest and is quickly exposed as a hoax by others.

Stay sovereign

There are people who keep telling you how insanely busy they are, how stressed, permaactive. Do such guys seem charismatic to you? Just. Who pulls us under its spell is rather the one who keeps a clear head in all the hustle and bustle and exudes complete calm. Strong words, firm voice, slow movements - such personalities calm us down, give us security and prove what they are: a sovereign in the literal sense of the word.

Have a clear goal

Anyone who changes direction with every resistance does not appear charismatic to others. If, on the other hand, you have a clear goal in mind that you are constantly working towards, you radiate significantly more charisma. Determination despite difficulties is extremely impressive.

Work on your rhetoric

Charisma can be seen at a single glance, but language can be just as charismatic. Charisma and rhetorical skills often go hand in hand. Understanding how to use your words correctly and how they affect others will make you more persuasive, transferring your opinion to others, and motivating people to join you.

Maintain eye contact

Sometimes it's the little things that can create more charisma: As simple as it sounds, just looking your conversation partner in the eye or making eye contact during a lecture in front of a group and keeping this eye contact ensures a better charisma. Your statements will be better received, you give the impression of deep honesty and create a bond with everyone present. The same applies if you are not talking yourself. Show that you are genuinely interested in what the other person is saying by keeping eye contact and not looking around the room in a bored or annoyed way while you wait to finally talk for yourself again.

Be present

What is meant here, of course, is not the physical presence, but the spiritual one. Quite a few people with whom you talk, at some point mentally drift away and are mentally completely different. And let's be honest: We notice it. Everyone notices it. Charismatic people, on the other hand, always listen intensely, are fully concentrated and fully focused on the matter at hand. Not only do we feel more valued, the presence gives our counterpart a magical aura.

Be prepared to take risks

The easiest and safest way can be tempting, but it's not the approach that you use to impress others and we make the look rather boring. Inspirational and rousing? Hardly if you are not ready to step over your own shadow and take a risk to achieve something. At the same time, this does not mean attracting attention through rash action or jumping to conclusions. Risk-taking can have a very attractive effect on a person's charisma - if this is under control and used consciously. Everything else seems rather inconsiderate and discouraging instead of encouraging you to follow your own example.

Don't be afraid to polarize

Whether you tend to be the shirt-sleeved doer type à la Jack Welch or the type of team player with integrity, stay true to yourself and don't be afraid to polarize. Yes, you read that right: don't try everybody’s darling to be! Compassionate people never have charismatic aura. Who is irritating. While the majority adapts and goes with the flow, this categorical independence lets charismatic people stand out from the crowd. Either you adore them for it or you can't stand them. But because that doesn't seem to bother them at all, they are still admired by their opponents for it.

Don't get tensed up on charisma

“I have to have charisma!” - If you think like that, you will probably not make it. You put yourself under pressure and do not appear charismatic to those around you, just tense. You can work on your charism, but you cannot force it straight away. Focus on the tips above and the traits and skills they contain. Your charisma then unfolds all by itself.

We have also made the 15 tips for charisma available for you to download in this free PDF.

Charisma is not a permanent state

If we see a person whose charisma immediately catches the eye, it is difficult to imagine that he could act timid, insecure or even cautious. The charisma is just too overwhelming and for the moment dwarfs everything else. What we see, however, is only a snapshot.

Those who bristle with charisma at a lecture do not necessarily have to do so on other occasions. A simple example: A project manager can charismatically lead a large team, inspire everyone involved and encourage them to perform at their best, and thereby act as a role model when it comes to engagement. If he then applies for another position, his charisma may suddenly have evaporated in the interview.

Instead, he seems nervous, doesn't really know what to do with himself, and he finds it difficult to convince the HR manager of himself. A person who behaves in opposite ways in different situations. At work he is in his element, he feels good, blossoms, knows his strengths and the procedures. The applicant situation, on the other hand, is new, an unfamiliar role that does not suit him.

Charisma is greatest when we are really sure of something, feel comfortable and trust that we have everything under control. A great deal of self-confidence helps to achieve this in various areas, but for many charismatics it is not a permanent state.

The downside of charisma

Of course, such an aura also has its dangers. Usually charisma is always associated with something positive. With regard to politicians and rulers, however, one has to realize that there is also a negative side. Charismatic despots like in Germany during the Second World War knew how to seduce the masses. Charismatic rule can mean the presence of a psychosocial illness. This is accompanied by a loss of a sense of reality and overconfidence up to megalomania. During the Nazi era, this also showed the quasi-religious veneration that can be typical of charisma.

This was most clearly visible in the swastika, the swastika.It is by no means a National Socialist invention, but was considered a religious symbol in many ancient cultures from India to China to South America. Anyone who gives too much weight to the charisma of such people opens the door to jugglers and gamblers. Critics such as the Swiss management consultant Fredmund Malik warn that charismatic people can be good leaders, but because of their seductive effect they are always exposed to great temptations and therefore represent a high risk for social groups and organizations.

Leader or seducer? Everyone has to decide for themselves. But steered in the right direction, charisma becomes a success driver for yourself and others.

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