Can Charisma Be Taught?

Steve Jobs’s death opened the door to curiosity and attention. People are talking and writing about his legacy as a business leader more than ever. While alive, everyone seemed to be waiting for the latest Apple product; now people seem to be very interested in finding out about Steve Jobs’s ability to encourage teams to create these amazing products. Steve Jobs was not the easiest to deal with, but one thing that people saw in him and respected him for is the charisma he had from the very start. His words, energy, and style were unique.

Many wonder if charisma is something you are born with or if you can actually learn how to be charismatic. Some naturally possess an abundance of social and emotional skills, but charismatic authority can definitely be taught. Charisma is “extraordinary power and appeal of personality; natural ability to inspire a large following”; many doubt this can be learned, but under the right influence, it is possible.

John Leonard on the blog The Five O’Clock Club offers 10 tips on how to become more charismatic:

  1. Build up your self-esteem and self-confidence. Take an inventory. What do you want to improve or change about the way you interact with others? Try to make only one change at a time.
  2. Set goals for yourself before every interaction. Know what you want. Think about how the people you will be meeting can help you reach those goals. Then decide how to approach each person accordingly.
  3. Be proactive. Take the initiative. Be decisive. Let the other person know exactly how he or she can help you.
  4. Treat each person you meet as if he or she is truly important. You’ll be amazed how this works.
  5. Give a firm handshake; look the other person straight in the eye. Practice both of these. Train yourself to notice something you like or find attractive in the person.
  6. Listen! Listen! Listen! Teach yourself to develop good listening skills. Learn a way to remember the other person’s name.
  7. Visibly respond to the other person. Smile, nod agreement, and address him or her by name.
  8. Pay more attention to the other person than to yourself. Are you responding to what may be going on in his or her life? Don’t filter out bad news. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Be caring.
  9. Use sincere flattery. People do respond to flattery. But if you don’t feel it, don’t say it.
  10. Sum up or restate often to make sure you understand what has just been said. This allows the other person to correct wrong assumptions right away, and lets him or her know that you are processing new information and are on top of the situation.

What do you think––can charisma be taught?

Author: Marina Kaljaj


2 responses to “Can Charisma Be Taught?

  1. This list is excellent advice for improved interpersonal skills in general, but that’s a rather wider category than charisma. I just a published a post yesterday about how you can be charismatic when you’re not even there, which suggests that it’s the *what* rather than the *how* that is key:

  2. Pingback: giant twist comfort cs

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