Many people think you are born with it, and that it’s an elusive trait available just to a select few. But you may be pleased to learn that charisma is a skill, and like any other skill it’s something you can learn and develop, whatever your personality type.
The key to developing charisma for yourself is to focus on certain traits that you can practice and apply to your own behaviour that can make you seem more likeable, trustworthy and possibly influential.
Charisma is something you can learn
Charisma is more about what you say and do than who you are. It’s not about changing who you are as a person it’s about changing the way people perceive you by adjusting and fine-tuning your outward communication and behaviours. Whether that’s what you say, your facial expressions, how you walk and stand and how you interact with other people. It’s a very learnable thing.
How can I be charismatic?
You have the ability to be more charismatic and likeable and the changes you need to make aren’t as big as they may seem at first. Here are some behaviour changes you can make that will make a huge impact on how charismatic you seem.
Manage your personal space
It can feel uncomfortable and very much like you’re being smothered when someone ‘invades’ your personal space. Sometimes it can be difficult to know where the boundaries are with other people, but the trick is to be mindful of stepping over someones personal boundaries. Try to keep others from feeling uneasy by leaning back a little when you talk to them, standing to one side, avoiding too much direct eye contact and speaking in a lower voice if you’re standing close to someone.
Get good at eye contact
Effective eye contact can often communicate more than any words could. Proper eye contact can show that you are listening carefully, that you care what this person has to stay and you accept them. Constantly shifting your gaze can show you’re not interested in what they are saying and your focus is elsewhere. Getting eye contact right can be tricky and needs some practice, too much is as bad as too little. Practice what works for you and over time you’ll become a natural.
Charismatic body language
If you want to be charismatic you need to express how you feel in different ways and that includes through body language. Use your body to emphasise what your talking about. And remember a smile always goes a long way to communicate that you’re likeable and you’re listening to this person. Again, practice makes perfect, and there are some bad types of behaviour to avoid too. For example, nodding is a good way to show your interest in what someone has to say, but too much can show you’re not listening at all. People pick up on body cues very easily so be mindful of bad habits you may have like slouching or fiddling with clothes or pens.
If in doubt – a mirror is your friend
Practice makes perfect. The more you practice your new behaviour and monitor the results, the more confident you will grow in showing a new charismatic persona. Like with any new skill this can take time to get right, and more so be comfortable for you to do naturally. If your unsure about how your new expressions or body language will be perceived test them out on friends or colleagues to get their feedback, or film yourself and practice in front of a mirror.
The ‘art’ of being more likeable and charismatic is completely within your grasp and not as scary or unattainable as you might once have thought.
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