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Written by Jimmie Burroughs Email to a friend-
To answer the question posed by the title: Yes charisma can be taught and developed contrary to what has been believed traditionally. However, it isn’t easy and it does take time.
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“Precisely because charisma is a complex state, a gestalt state, it is not easily modeled. That’s because there’s a mixture of meta-states within charisma. Yet there are secrets of charisma. The primary secret of the attractiveness of charisma is that it emerges as a person becomes authentically real and discovers how to use his or her best qualities of mind and emotion to enrich the lives of others. It emerges as you actualize your highest values and visions and best skills and competencies. It is a gestalt state that combines your uniqueness in a self-actualizing way…” -1
What is described above is a process of personal development that ultimately can lead to a charismatic personality. Personal development Guru Tony Robins is in high demand both in his live seminars and personal coaching. It is not just the principles that Tony teaches, which by the way can be read in a book, it is his charisma that attracts people and motivates them to pay hundreds of dollars for a live seminar or tens of thousands for personal coaching. The reason why people are willing to pay such high sums of money is because of their desire to be like him.
What is charisma? Here’s a Definition:
- A rare personal quality attributed to leaders who arouse fervent popular devotion and enthusiasm.
- Personal magnetism or charm: a television news program famed for the charisma of its anchors.
I like how one writer characterizes charisma in a measurable scale from 0 to 10:
10 – Energetic, passionate
* – Caring; full of life
* – Thoughtful; set the pace and frames
* – Fun/ playful
* – Engaging
* – Communicates positive emotions: love, hope, excitement
* – Self-absorbed, low energy
* – Depressed, apathetic
* – Communicates negative emotions: fear, anger, distress
* – Conveys gloom, grimness, hopelessness
I know you, as I, have known people beginning at the zero level and each stage all the way up the scale. Notice that the first four stages progress as negativity decreases and then begins to turn to the positive at stage five.
Wikipedia describes charisma as follows:
“Although difficult or even impossible to define accurately (due to an abundance of wildly diverse criteria in regard to the trait), charisma is often used to describe an elusive, even indefinable personality trait that often includes the seemingly ‘supernatural’ or uncanny ability to lead, charm, persuade, inspire, and/or influence people.
It refers especially to a quality in certain people who easily draw the attention and admiration (or even hatred if the application of such charisma is perceived to be negative) of others due to a ‘magnetic’ quality of personality and/or appearance. Related terms and phrases include: grace, exuberance, equanimity, mystique, positive energy, joie de vivre, extreme charm, personal magnetism, personal appeal, ‘electricity’, and allure, among many others. Usually many of these specific qualities must be present within a single individual for the person to be considered highly charismatic by the public and their peers.
Despite the strong emotions they so often induce in others, charismatic individuals generally project unusual calmness, confidence, assertiveness, dominance, authenticity, and focus, and almost always possess superb communication and/or oratorical skills. Although the etymology of the word (‘divine gift’) might suggest that charisma can’t be acquired, and despite the persistent inability to accurately define or even fully understand the concept, it is believed that charisma can be taught and/or learned. Others disagree with this assertion and maintain that it is an inborn trait, or acquired through growing up, and that it cannot be learned, taught, or ‘gained’ at will. Charisma can also be used in a negative way…” -2
Charisma is believed to be basically characterized by five personality traits:
1. High self esteem: People with high self esteem need not cloak their real self; they are relaxed in what they are and expose it willingly. They feel good being who they are and appear as their real selves.
2. A Driving Force: People with charisma have purpose in life; they are driven by principles and personal values that define the person they are.
3. Sensory Awareness: charisma has noticeable empathy for others and is highly concerned for their welfare; it also shows emotions freely.
4. A Vision: People of charisma have a mental picture of where they want to go, and what they intend to achieve; they think in positive terms and develop their aim in life.
5. High Energy – passion, enthusiasm, commitment, determination.-3
The bottom line is that personal development is the key to developing charisma:
Most are unaware of their needs concerning personal development, or don’t believe it to be important. It is of course necessary first to be aware of the need and want to make improvements; then spending the necessary time required to gain the needed attributes and practicing them. Knowing the areas where improvement is needed and focusing on those areas speeds up the process. The skills that are most needed are communication skills; relationship skills and public speaking skills.
More and more people are becoming aware of the need for personal development, and the important part it contributes to personal success and well being. Also, the values of charisma are highly significant. When charisma is well-intentioned towards others, it can bring positive changes. By the same token if it is misguided, it can create a cult like following and bring great harm. For example, such political leaders as Stalin, Hitler, and business leaders that bring down well know corporations because of personal greed. I hope that you are interested in your own personal growth; for this website’s complete index of articles on personal development CLICK HERE.
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-1, L. Michael Hall Ph.D.
-2, Wikipedia, August 2008
-3, Nikki Owen’s paper on charisma An Audience with Charisma,
About the author: Jimmie Burroughs is a motivational speaker and author who has been involved in teaching Christian Personal Development for more than 30 years. There are hundreds of articles to help you on this website, Website Contents , in your person growth. Be sure to take vantage of the FREE offer to get the “Personal Development” eBook while available.
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