You can’t teach charisma with a generic set of behaviours or techniques because you muddy the waters of a person’s authenticity.
Having devoted my adult life to studying and researching charisma I view it as the sporting equivalent of ‘being in the zone’. It is an innate state that lives as a potential within us all. When we are being true to the real person inside, we exude a natural energy, a radiance that creates a magnetic presence. Like a high performing sportsperson, you need the competence, the practice and the mental and physical capability to even compete with the best. Yet on the day, the athlete who can harness their performance, their mind-set and their energy into perfect vibrational alignment will run the perfect race.
In business, charisma is all about alignment. When your conscious mind is in rapport with your unconscious mind you add leverage to your focused intent. When you are doing work that holds personal purpose and you have the skill and competence to perform that work, your authentic charisma is activated.
You cannot fake charisma because it is an expression of the true authentic essence of who you are and what you stand for. This might sound simplistic but being able to show the world the real you can be incredibly daunting.
From the moment you are born you experience that life isn’t as rosy as you expected. You experience emotional and physical pain that teaches you to develop a strong primal need to protect yourself. Many people shift their awareness out of their heart and into their head. This creates a wall that blocks their true nature from shining. To be charismatic you have to be vulnerable and reconnect with how you feel. This takes real courage, especially if you have experienced pain and trauma in your life. Your charisma is the highest expression of you and held within the depth of your being. When you surrender to vulnerability you boost your energy and vitality. When you are truly authentic you are at your most charismatic.
The Business Leader who is prepared to show vulnerability finds it easier to build stronger, heart centred connections. The Consultant who speaks their truth will ultimately exude more personal presence. The Project Manager who feels comfortable communicating with a transparency that conveys he/she has ‘nothing to hide’ will inspire trust and build higher levels of engagement.
With deadlines, corporate politics, ambitious change management programmes, a dramatic global economy, the ability to remain authentic is eroded by stress, uncertainty and feelings of overwhelm. These natural emotional reactions are exacerbated by early childhood programming. If we haven’t completely processed our childhood challenges we carry them through the years, and bring them into our job role. A Manager gives feedback that triggers the employee and they respond like a little child being told off by their controlling parent. A Leader who never feels good enough may compensate with being overly dictatorial in an attempt to avoid looking stupid.
Authenticity is so hard to live and breathe continually because of these challenges. That’s why authentic people stand out in their own unique way – without their protective walls their charisma shines through and we are mesmerised.
If you are struggling to be true to who you are at work here are my three favourite suggestions for boosting your charisma by becoming more authentic:
- Learn how to breathe diaphragmatically. When you have a need to hide aspects of your personality it’s usually because you feel a degree of anxiety about being judged or hurt in some way. This instantly causes you to shorten your breath that perpetuates the anxiety and causes you to want to close down, like a child moving into the foetal position. Changing the way you breathe is the quickest way to improve your charisma. An expansion of breath will expand your energy and presence.
- Schedule time each week to walk barefoot in Nature. The earth contains a beneficial flow of electrons that improves emotional balance and reduces stress. Working with technology causes electromagnetic pollution that dulls your energy and lowers your authentic charisma. When you place your bare feet on the ground you’ll access a natural source of electrons that re-boots your natural sense of inner harmony. Google ‘the science of grounding’ for more information.
- Practice mindfulness and remain present to what is going on right now in this moment. Energy flows where your attention goes. When you focus on the past or the future you drain your own presence from the current moment. This dilutes your ability to be truly authentic and your charisma becomes subdued like a petulant child feeling they are not getting the attention they crave.
The way you feel about yourself determines how easy it is to be yourself. If you constantly criticise and put yourself down then the real you will hide in the shadows. When you feel ok about the person you are then it’s easier to accept that your imperfections and weaknesses give you a special uniqueness. Being human is being flawed. Perfection is simply a thought that is impossible to achieve. You and I are exquisitely imperfect and that why we are so unique. When you show the full spectrum of who you are you inspire others to do the same. Authenticity breeds authenticity.
Stop putting on a mask or playing the role that you think is more acceptable. Be bold, be brave and be you. Because when you are being you then you shine with a charismatic presence that mesmerises and compiles attention.