Guess what? If you don’t have any charisma, you can now go and get yourself some! Who doesn’t want to walk into a room and have all the heads turn. “Hey, that’s… you know… that guy!” Or, “Oh yeah! She’s so amazing. I don’t know what it is about her but what ever it is, she’s got it!”
A recent study proves that charisma can be taught. This surprised me. I would have said that if an attribute such as charisma could be taught, it would follow that even minty-fresh breath could be taught!
It turns out that the simple act of “acting charismatic” brings on positive self-perceptions that are manifested as the attributes themselves. With time, these attributes become a part of the persona; hence, one can learn to become charismatic.
Act in a charismatic fashion; become charismatic. Simple.
We can call up a host of real emotions such as anger, love, disgust, fear, awe, and pity, simply by mimicking the behavior with our bodies. The act of smiling, for example, affects your autonomic nervous system in the same way that feeling happy produces a smile. It works both ways: Happiness causes smiles. Smiles cause happiness.
Here is a list of some cause and effect postures:
- sit up in your chair: become more attentive.
- lean forward and “steeple” your fingers at a business meeting: feel more confident.
- make a fist: feel greater self-esteem.
- hug yourself: reduce physical pain.
- grimace at a police officer: get a ticket (okay, this one doesn’t quite fit with the others, but still, there is cause and effect!)
There are other traits, too. They include body language as stated above, but also animated tone of voice, use of metaphors, stories, and demonstrating moral conviction all play roles.
Want proof? At your next meeting, sit up and lean forward with your forearms on the table, elbows out. Clasp or hold your hands together on the table directly in front of you. You will immediately feel more confident and attentive. Bonus: you’ll look like it, too.
And if you really want to lay it on thick, “steeple” your fingers and gesture toward someone while you speak to them. Take care not to overdo it because your new-found power may actually slay someone. No one wants this in a meeting room. Take it outside.
So there it is; you can learn charisma.
As I write this, I’m leaning forward, chin lowered, and I am staring right at you. Can you feel it? Okay, it’s not quite that easy to acquire the traits. If it were, I’d have wanted to use it when I was in college.
But how does one act out calculus?