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Many people think that charisma is something few people have. People like Barack Obama, Princess Diana, or Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts. Nothing could be further from the truth: everyone is born with charisma and can benefit from it.
In this blog, you will discover what charisma is and how you can develop and strengthen it yourself so that it can help you live your life goals and purpose to the fullest.
What is Charisma?
According to Benedikt Held of the “RedeFabrik” (free translation: the speech factory), charisma is the expression that impresses others. It is what you do that resonates with others and perhaps uplifts others.
Charisma: The expression that impresses—RedeFabrik
In the German Podcast “Alles Menschen” with Veit Lindau, Benedikt Held explains that the word charisma is twofold and consists of the word “character” and the word “prism.” Character is you, your identity, a light. And that light shines through a prism.
Depending on how you rotate a prism, it emits a different color. Each color represents a facet of charisma that makes more or less an impression on somebody else.
For example, some people find the former presidents, Donald Trump or Silvio Berlusconi, very charismatic. Others don’t. The same goes for James Bond or the talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.
The six facets of charisma
You can impress people in many ways. Benedikt Held has identified six facets (colors) of charisma by studying charismatic people.
With authenticity, you must know yourself and that you are aware of your talents, core qualities, values, purpose, or WHY.
->Reading tip: How to find your WHY
People and (especially) children will immediately notice if you are not authentic when playing “cool” after making a mistake.
I admit a mistake immediately during a training or workshop. I also explain how it came to be that I made a mistake. I am vulnerable, but that can be a strength. People recognize that immediately and then there is more understanding, empathy, and a better connection.
Vitality is the life energy, the pathos, the enthusiasm. People like the adventurers Bear Grylls or Freek Vonk radiate a lot of energy and vitality. Children often have a lot of vitality because they allow their inner energy and light to flow freely.
Bear and Freek also have a strong appearance. They are aware of this and make good use of it to be intensely vital or present. This facet is about how confident you are. Strength is also about how determined you are to live your values. It is like the rock in the surf of the ocean. How calm are you in times of uncertainty, and to what extent do you appear confident to lead?
You are present when you are in the now. You don’t think about the past (the mistakes) or the future (the worries). You stay in the present by not being distracted by your thoughts and going steadfastly towards your goal. An example is Oprah Winfrey, who is a very good listener (and helps others think better).
A beautiful facet of charisma is warmth. Warmth goes hand in hand with presence. You give full attention to someone or something. Again, people who have a lot of warmth are Oprah Winfrey and Princess Diana. Just look at the photo of Princess Diana embracing an AIDS patient.
Charismatic people inspire others. That’s because they have a vision and a goal and know how to express it in a way that impresses others. They also show you how to achieve that goal. Examples are Steve Jobs and Elon Musk.
Why everyone has charisma
Everyone is born to communicate. Even an introvert can communicate. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this right now. Because as a baby, you too cried over a bottle of milk.
The same goes for charisma. Everyone is born with charisma. Every person on earth has one or more facets that suit him or which are easy to express. You too. You immediately see and feel that it makes an impression on someone else.
You don’t need to be able to express all facets well to be charismatic. Because James Bond is indeed a charismatic character, the question remains to what extent he is vital with his way of life, where he slams down many Martinis (‘shaken not stirred‘).
How do you benefit more from charisma?
By knowing yourself and developing your charismatic facets, you can better impress more different people because a certain facet of charisma touches them. A connection is created. When there is a connection with others, there is better communication. Without connection, there is no communication, just like there is no current without a socket.
When I’m in front of a large group (100+ people), a few people don’t participate. They cross their arms, look around, or even walk away. Others listen carefully, participate actively, or become inspired. This is not only because of me but also because of the participant, who may or may not be impressed by my verbal or non-verbal expressions.
Then you better accommodate the group by turning the prism. This is a form of facilitating in which you bring out a facet of your charisma that can impress someone else more.
For example, I will appear much more vital to a group of young people than to a group of engineers who are more likely to need inspiration.
How do you get more charisma?
So, you can be more charismatic by consciously working with your facets of charisma. Decide which facets you would like to use to better connect with others.
Next, the following three steps will help you be more charismatic:
Be aware of your inner light
Without light, nothing can shine out of the prism. You are the light when you do something with passion, do something that makes you lose the feeling of time, and when you are in flow. If you want to connect with a facet of charisma, be aware that you are light. You can, for example, think of a beautiful, loving moment in your life. It helps me to sing a word (a mantra).
Turn up the light dial
By making the light shine a little harder, the facets of charisma will shine more brightly. Turn up the dial by just 10 percent for more intensity, charisma, impression, and connection. So, be a little stronger, more present, or more vital.
Connect with something higher
It’s not about me or my ego when I give a presentation or training. It is important to always connect with a vision, purpose, or goal and know how to express this. I invariably tell what my WHY is when I give a workshop or meet someone. This allows me to work towards something higher than just showing what I can do and what knowledge I have. In addition, another person can better identify himself with that goal.
“Lend your eyes”
Benedikt Held encourages you to mentally “lend” your eyes to someone else. You do this by seeing a certain situation through someone else’s eyes. That can also be someone who is no longer in this world.
My father was a master in negotiation. My talents lie in other areas, but when I find myself in a situation where I have to negotiate, I think of my father. I ask him, “Dad, how would you handle this?”. Invariably, a dreaded negotiation becomes more relaxing and fun because I look at it from a higher point of view and can handle it with fewer emotions.
Pass on compliments
And it also happens that people thank me for my enthusiasm or my inspiration after a workshop. In a previous blog, I wrote that my answer usually is “With love.”
Benedikt Held suggests in the Podcast with Veit Lindau that you can also pass on a compliment to others. I can say that I am happy with the compliment and that I will pass it on to the person who inspired me. This reinforces the connection to something greater and higher than me.
Your WHY and Charisma
Therefore, it is important to know your purpose, mission, vision, or life purpose to express the facets of charisma and be more charismatic. All-encompassing is the WHY. Your WHY is your reason for getting out of bed; your contribution that impacts the world. A WHY statement is always positive, action-oriented, and generative. You can never reach your WHY.
I can help you find your WHY and do those things to live your WHY so that you, too, can be more charismatic. Curious? Please read this article about what a WHY session looks like and contact me to get to know me.
Which facet of charisma appeals to you most? Let me know in the comment field below. The other readers of this article. and I are looking forward to reading from you!
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