Charisma: When I think about the people I admire in virtually every walk of life, they have charisma. Actors, sports stars, musicians, authors, therapists and even academics that I love seem to have charisma one way or another.

Charisma is not just important when looking to have friendships and relationships, emotional intelligence along with a variety of very particular hard and soft skills that contribute to charisma have become a focus of late within professional discourse. They have been said to be vital if seeking progression in a variety of ways in life and linked with successful leaders in large corporations and also those leading their own small to medium sized enterprises, or those simply wishing to be a successful parent, friend or teacher. So, have you ever thought of being charismatic and advancing charisma, and if so, how do we do that? Isn’t charisma something that people simply have or do not?

Charisma is often seen as an elusive, beautiful quality that lights up a party, an office, a silver screen or the faces of a group of friends. It is often defined as, “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.”

If you want to be a people’s person, if you want loyal customers or clients or you wish to lead a more successful life in general, being charismatic will help greatly. Even after charismatic people leave a room they still manage to leave their imprint … their magic lingers, their energy is still felt, their charisma left a staying impression.

We all know a charismatic leader, colleague or friend. Someone who we just love to be around. Someone who makes us feel good, uplifted, inspired and engaged. Someone who makes any meeting or social gathering much more enjoyable.
Many are misled into thinking that charisma cannot be learned and practiced and that it is an inherent quality that some people are born with. On the contrary, the good news is that charisma can be learned, developed and mastered as with many skills. Here are eight wonderful tips that charismatic people know, apply and which skyrocket their allure from lukewarm to megawatt level charisma, read, apply and notice what happens as a result.

1. Smile.
“If you want people to find you irresistible, smile at them during conversations and they will unconsciously return the favor and feel good as a result.” – Dr. Travis Bradberry.

It sounds obvious, but smile. Uncross your arms, hold eye contact and lean in when someone is speaking across the table to you.
Smiling at people, whether they are aware of it or not, puts them in a better mood because, as research has shown, people unconsciously mirror the body language of the person they are talking to. This means if you’re smiling at them, then they are strongly inclined to smile at you back. Even more, research has also shown that when we smile, our emotional state can shift. The quality of the conversation will be better and as you will feel more comfortable, you will be more likely to talk candidly.

I hasten to add; make the smile genuine and not one of those smiles that actually scares the life out of someone and is uncomfortable to be around (i.e. do not smile the same way the big bad wolf smiles at a sheep it is stalking!).

2. Be Interested in Other People.
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” – Maya Angelou.

No one likes to hang around the person who is always bragging and boasting. Think about the last time you spent time around someone who couldn’t stop talking about himself or herself. Did you see that as time meaningfully spent or wasted? People like people who like them, not people who disregard others so they can talk about themselves. Talking about one’s self is not really a way to develop your charisma.

Therefore, be present and connect with that person without being distracted, engage with them properly and let them know you value them and what they say. Be genuinely interested and ask them questions exploring more of what they say and learn more about them, give them the opportunity to express themselves with you.

3. Be Kind.
“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” – Dale Carnegie.

Everyone likes hang around people who think highly of them and or can make them feel good about themselves.  You can yield positive emotions from those around you by genuinely accepting them for who they are and even moving on to complimenting them.

Accepting someone unconditionally, hearing what they have to say, not judging them, this is kindness that develops your charisma.

Offering up a sincere compliment about something you’ve recognized about them or telling them that you appreciate them, this is more kindness that builds the perception of being charismatic.

If it comes from a well-meaning place and is not contrived for artificial effect, then it’ll work wonders and help you make a deeper connection and impression with people you encounter.

4. Accentuate the Positive.
There is something so attractive about being around people who see the good in the world and choose to comment upon the good that they see in the world rather than highlighting the negatives in life. It makes a big difference on how people perceive you. Complainers suck the life out of us and the beauty out of their surroundings. There is joy and beauty to be found in even the darkest of moments and the murkiest of environments.

Again, keep it real and sincere and do not just offer up sickly sweet words if it feels highly inappropriate as that can have the opposite effect.

5. Be Researched.
Charisma benefits from due diligence!

Charismatic people are often social chameleons. They can fit in anywhere. I used to love Del Boy from TV’s Only Fools and Horses when he would openly tell of how he could fit in with the market boys in the local pub just as well as he could drink Pimms on the lawns of Buckingham Palace with a bunch of Lords.

The point here is that those with real charisma expand and invest in who they are and what they know. You can be authentic in lots of settings if you know a little bit about a lot. Read the relevant news. Read a new relevant book. Become worldly and get to know the world. A wide and varied conversationalist makes you comfortable and engages in a wide and varied range of settings within diverse groups of people.

6. Think Nice Thoughts.
Everyone deals with a difficult personality professionally or personally from time to time. To get to a constructive and productive solution from a problem though; first get yourself to a place of peace and well-being inside your mind.

Think nice thoughts about the person. What are their redeemable qualities? Remember that time they backed you in a meeting, or said something good about you. By painting a brighter picture in your mind, you’ll be able understand with less bias where they are coming from and make objective connections without being too emotive in your communication.

7. Listen Attentively.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie.

If you haven’t noticed by now, people love to talk more than they love to listen. Everyone has an opinion that they want to share. Do them a favour by being charismatic and listen to them without interrupting. Don’t just listen while thinking about what you want to say as soon as there is a second pause. Everyone wants to have a conversation with a good conversationalist, and ironically, the mark of a good conversationalist is not necessarily about how much he or she can talk, but by how much they can get the other person to talk; we get others to talk by quietly and attentively listening. As I wrote earlier, be present: Put your phone away, look directly at them, ask questions, occasionally nod your head, and lean into the person speaking.

8. Be Playful.
Playfulness proves you are a real human being. It provides you with an opportunity to spontaneously connect with others, rather than to always say and do the right thing.

The most charismatic world leaders know how to switch from somber to silly, and then back to somber. George Clooney and Angelina Jolie both have the ability to switch from smooth and serious to playful. James Bond has a license to kill but makes jokes in between moments of danger. All the academics I adore have a razor sharp wit and playfulness that is communicated wonderfully when you get to know them and their work. Here are a couple of great articles to help you read around this subject more:

1. How and Why You Need To Be More Playful and Childlike.
2. The Science of Laughter: Why Laughing is Really Good for Your Health.

Just ease up a bit. Open yourself up to possibilities, be a bit spontaneous when circumstances allow it, and every now and then… surprise the people around you.

Charisma is a skill that requires continual refinement; expect a lot of speed bumps on the way. However, if you believe that charisma is a skill to be developed, you’ll start to see the speed bumps as a learning experience as you try out new ways of being, and eventually, you’ll start to enjoy the ride and enjoy your advancing charisma and the way people respond to you as a result.

If you’d like to learn more or if this has resonated with you in some way, then visit these pages:

1. Has self-doubt held you back and is it still doing so now? Do you need to develop more charisma?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others develop charisma, overcome self-doubt and believe in themselves more?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist for whom self-doubt is negatively effecting the success of your business? Do you need more self-belief and natural charisma to fulfil your career ambitions?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.