by Jennifer Johnston-Jones, Ph.D. (http://www.drjenniferjones.com)
We all might have our own definition of charisma but I’m pretty sure you’ll agree that it is the primary quality that opens the doors to getting what you want. It’s the ultimate influencer, persuader and game-changer. Some people just ooze charisma, charm in action that makes heads turn. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that according to a plethora of studies, charismatic people seem to find more success than people who, well, you might call, less charismatic.
It’s not surprising that research shows that people who are considered charismatic receive higher performance reviews, are viewed as more effective, and are seen as more attractive. But did you know, that despite popular belief, charisma is not a gift that some are born with, and that others must woefully live without? Charimsa, is in fact, something that can be developed and you can learn. So, let’s learn these important lessons all based in research in psychology that will help you become incredibly charismatic:
Lesson 1: Learn to Make Others Trust and Connect to You
When people connect to you they are loyal. When people trust you they are open to persuasion. So you can see the importance of creating trust and connection. As humans, we are engineered to assess safety. Charismatic people make us feel safe and we can let down our guard with them.
To create more trust and connection with others is easy. A simple shift in perspective can make them go from feeling neutrally toward you to adoring you. All you need to do when you are with someone is to look into who they really are; don't see them as they are on the surface. Instead, imagine their background, their upbringing, imagine what they fear, what worries them, what makes them me cry…. Look into their eyes and see the feelings behind their words. Psychologists are taught this technique in graduate school. It’s called the “therapeutic hook” and helps people feel “seen.” When they feel seen, they trust you and feel connected to you.
There is no need to share yourself or your stories to create connection. This is a common myth. In fact, people often overshare. When someone is telling an important story, the listener will show they relate by sharing that something similar hapened to them. However, the most effective way to connect is via the 80/20 rule: make it 80% about them and 20% about you.
Lesson 2: Learn Charismatic Speech and Non-Verbal Cues
The power of the word is priceless. Charismatic people speak differently than non-charasmatic ones. Not only do they listen more and talk less, as mentioned above, but when responding to someone, they do so mindfully. They first respond with their facial expression, then pause, then speak. Charismatic people know that the fewer words they use, the better. They also have downward intonations. For example, instead of ending a sentence as if they had a question (with an upward intonation), they make their opinion sound like a fact with a downward intonation. Charismatic people also use the power of voice fluctuation. They go from from loud to quiet and use deeper intonations to higher ones. Like birds, we love to hear each others' music! Finally, and most importantly, charasmatic people keep it positive and don’t interrupt.
Even more influential than speech are the non-verbal cues that research has shown lead people to trust, like, and respect others (read: charismatic behaviors). Because so much of how we evaluate another occurs unconsciously, certain beahviors automatically help people be charismatic. First, smile. Smile a lot. We have been conditioned to look out for safety and smiling is one of the ways humans communicate safety. However, make sure that smile is authentic as humans can read micro-expressions and can unconsciously tell the difference between a genuine smile and a fake smile. Second, your posture is important. Stand with a wide stance, hands out of your pockets and in front of your body. Third, make direct eye contact. This is essential as research shows that looking into someone's eyes for only a few seconds will mutually increase affection and rapport immediately. Finally, you can mirror the person you are with. Imitate their posture, speech, and expressions. Think of the person you are with as an old friend, this will lessen the role differential you have between you whether you are talking to someone you believe has more or less stature than you as the key to charismatic expression is to level the playing field.
Lesson 3: Identify your power personality
Let’s talk about Authentic Power or what I like to call your power personality. What do I really mean by Authentic power? (You might be thinking, is there inauthentic power?) Most people don’t realize that there are actually MANY types of power. Once you know what kind of power personality you have, you can be aware of it and use it specifically to influence others instead of being unaware of how you express power and using it ineffectively.
First there’s traditional power which is status and fear based. You see this in the boss/employee relationship, sometimes in parent to child. Then there’s inspirational power; this is the power to attract and bring along followers to co-create change. You see this power illustrated in the Obama campaign. Another type of power is relational power (based on mutual love). This kind of power is based on relationships and is the greatest unconscious influencer.
Which kind of power feels right to you? Which do you find yourself drawn to? I so believe in the importance of knowing your power personality type that if you are unsure, I offer a free psychological assessment to help you figure it out (just click here: http://www.drjenniferjones.com/strength.html)
Doesn't it make it easier to be more charismatic when you know exactly how to do it? I'm excited for you, thrilled to see your results. When will you start? I want to see you implement these steps today. From this day forward you can use this information to make your life easier, from work to home life...it even works with children! You will be amazed at the results it has! After all, the more charismatic you are, the more influence you have. You will start enjoying the perks of people liking you more and will find that your behaviors will create habits of deeper relationships as well. Onward!