Charismatic as a cabbage

Some people just have it.  The poise, the confidence, the strong measured voice using well-chosen words in a relaxed tone, they look and sound the part.  They are indeed charm personified. They have “it”, that charisma that captivates and positively influences and connects to others on a physical, emotional and intellectual level.

This week’s interesting read from Success Magazine offers 7 qualities that people with charisma possess and why it is important to try to emulate them:

  1. They smile, sit or stand up straight, look people in the eye when they’re talking, instead of slumping or keeping a straight face all the time.  Their body language gives out unconscious positive signals.
  2. They can distil complex ideas into simple messages and don’t over complicate things, and are therefore more persuasive.
  3. They have the innate ability to speak well and articulate their ideas well without preamble or waffle.
  4. They are active listeners, making others feel special and heard.
  5. They notice time and space and ensure that they are on time to meetings and provide the right time and space for a conversation.
  6. They build rapport by adapting to others’ personalities.
  7. They have something to say.  Being great at listening and being persuasive doesn’t count if you have nothing to say.

We have come to expect more from people, we want them to be more understanding, empathetic, to empower others.  Someone with charisma sees all problems as solvable and encourages others to step forward. 

Sadly the article doesn’t offer advice or suggest ways for those of us with less charisma as to how we might improve.  And some of these things would be more difficult to achieve if you were more of an introvert. 

In a separate article, the same magazine does offer ways to develop your charisma

  1. Be attentive, if you find your mind wandering during the dullest of meetings, pull it back and be present in the present.
  2. Put people before rank.  Engage with the person, not their job title.  Take time to see the person within.
  3. Be curious, ask questions, listen and be positive, draw people out and engage in a proper conversation with them.
  4. Be aware of your tone of voice, friendly facial expression, open gestures and fully facing someone you’re having a conversation with.
  5. Empower others by sharing a personal experience of your own.  Give it that personal touch.
  6. Be self-aware and don’t try to manipulate a connection.  Others will see straight through it.

I know for sure that my face tends to give away too much if I’m bored by someone’s conversation, or I think they’ve said something ridiculous.  Either that, or I go stony faced and have no expression at all and then people have no idea what I’m thinking and it unnerves them. I probably waffle a bit sometimes, other times I want to get to the point and move on.

 I do try to be a good listener but there are certain subjects that my brain just totally switches off from, like sport and try as I might to be interested for the sake of others, I just can’t do it. Its all too easy now to be on a Zoom call, looking like you’re looking at the screen and paying attention, but all the while your reading emails or doing something else.  A particular skill if you can touch type.

I guess on the charismatic scale of 0-10 I’m probably about a 2, about as charismatic as a cabbage (apologies to cabbages everywhere).


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