Building Charisma

My friend Dr. Heidi Reeder is a frequent contributor over at the Psychology Today Blog, and she fairly recently discussed the topic of charisma and Olivia Fox Cabane’s book “The Charisma Myth”. As a naturally gregarious and extroverted person, I realized that I had not necessarily given charisma much thought. And much to my surprise I found that even those of us who are more inclined towards being around people may have something to learn about how those people feel engaged with us!

Every individual has their own set of challenges in the work place, be it with making sales calls, networking, meeting with investors, or just sitting down and answering daily emails. All of these things require full engagement, and it can be difficult for anyone to be charismatic 100% of the time. As Heidi details:

“We often consider charisma to be a rare quality, bestowed on only a few lucky souls, special individuals who end up in highly-visible, highly-rewarding positions as politicians, CEOs, actors, and talk show hosts.

But that’s a myth, according to Olivia Fox Cabane, author of The Charisma Myth. Cabane contends that charisma is not an innate trait, reserved for A-listers. Instead, it’s a characteristic anyone can develop. Charisma can be learned because it has everything to do with a personal mindset, and the nonverbal behaviors associated with it.”

I highly recommend reading the rest of her blog post detailing the aspects of charisma—you can find the rest of it here.

What I found through reading this is that regardless of whether you are naturally charismatic or more introverted, there are areas that you can focus upon to improve how you engage with other people. Charisma does not have to be a shallow attribute—indeed it can really be representative of a deeper warmth and desire to connect with other people around you.

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