Real Charisma, Clinton Style
By By Daniel Sitter
exactly is Charisma? Most would agree that it is a magical, illusive,
personal quality, divinely endowed on some people more than others.
One thing is for certain, it is more easily identified than defined.
It is the secret to being liked and agreed with by others. It is
the much sought-after quality that causes people to envy others
because of their congeniality and ease at which they interact with
people. Charisma, like many other character traits, may be gifted
more to some, but regardless of your given level, charisma, like
any other skill, can be further developedIt is officially defined
as "an unusual ability to influence people and arouse devotion" and "a
personal attractiveness that enables you to influence others." Other
definitions describe it as "a gift, the ability to charm or influence
people" and "appeal, magnetism, presence and leadership ability." Dr.
Tony Alessandra defines charisma as "the ability to influence others
positively by connecting with them physically, emotionally, and
intellectually." Harvard anthropologist Charles Lindholm defines
it as "above all, a relationship, a mutual mingling of the inner
selves of leader and follower."Charisma certainly has several key
components, Dr. Alessandra choosing to summarize them as intellectual,
physical and emotional. Intellectual charisma is often characterized
by an impressive vocabulary and an ability to draw out the best
and most thoughtful ideas from others. A well-read person with an
impressive and resonating speaking style is usually associated with
being very charismatic. A person who is extremely well educated
but not arrogant might too be considered as charismatic. Leadership
ability is often associated with charisma.Physical charisma is often
evident simply because of ones commanding presence and impressive
physical stature. It may also be embellished by the relative attractiveness
of that person, whether male or female. A great handshake, a confident,
articulate voice and positive eye contact that conveys "I am interested
in learning more about you and respect you immensely" are all means
of conveying charisma. Great posture, proximity and even wardrobe
all adds to a persons' charismatic quotient.Emotional charisma
is conveyed by a sense of being a deep thinker or one who is willing
to ponder the larger picture. These people have a tendency to bring
out the best in the rest of us by causing us to dig deeper emotionally
and seek out better answers to the challenges in life. They see
more in us than we sometimes see in ourselves. They are both motivating
and captivating people.
people have a "twinkle" or "sparkle" in their eye. You know what
I mean. They have the essence of a positive and energizing manner
of thought and immediately are able to transfer that feeling to
others. These traits allow the charismatic person to connect easily
with others. A charismatic person will illuminate
by simply walking into it. We have all experienced this feeling as
we have personally witnessed the change of mood or emotional intensity
in a room simply because of the presence of an individual who has
example of a well known charismatic person is former president
Bill Clinton. Whether or not you agree with his politics or antics,
most people would agree that he might arguably be one of the most
charismatic leaders of our time. Why? Was he always correct? Did
he have the total support of the Congress or the American people?
Did other world leaders always see things his way? Was he faultless?
Of course he was not. He was never any of those things.What President
has is an uncanny ability to persuade people to his point of view. He has the
ability to make a connection with people at all levels by being sincerely interested
in them. His influence on others is profound. He has a commanding physical
presence, yet maintains a boyish charm. He is extremely intelligent and well-read.
He is articulate yet not at all condescending. Many would describe him as handsome.
He has possessed and experienced the power of the Presidency of the United
States. He also has that "sparkle" in his eye. The man has great charisma!Can
you be charismatic like President Clinton? Certainly you can. You already have
some charisma, certain strengths and abilities that others find attractive.
Develop these. Look people in the eye. Listen carefully when you are conversing.
Take a genuine interest in their point of view. Be quick to forgive minor errors
and sincerely issue compliments and polite gratitude where appropriate. You
may not be able to do anything about your physical stature, but you can still
have a commanding presence by means of your confidence level, your posture,
your voice and your eye contact.
is not merely a gift from God that was bestowed upon some people,
but given to all. You have some charisma, just like President Clinton.
Determine your strengths and build on those first. Target other
areas where you would like to grow and get busy. Making the effort
to further develop your charisma is truly gratifying and will surely
pay you back in spades.