Friday, July 17, 2009

FAQs on Charisma

1. Can charisma be learned or are you born with it?
Based on our extensive research, we have determined that developing charisma is a skill just like typing, communicating or driving. Contrary to some schools of thought that assert that charisma can be learned through a 1-2-3 step process, we believe that it is a philosophy that increases as the skill is embraced. But, there are certain personalities that have a greater proclivity for charisma than others.

2. How is charisma defined?
We define charisma as the creating of perceptions that impact the mind and emotions of others through through flair, finesse and glib language.

3. In what context do you use charisma??
It is subjective and based on perceptions. Charisma has merit solely in a social context and if humans were not social animals the need for charisma would be irrelevant. Surveys consistently show that charismatic people make more money and generally are more successful than their counterparts. Invariably charismatic people have an edge even when they are not as technically proficient as their counterparts. Because we focus on charisma and its interplay within the professional arena, we are most interested in its leadership and business development abilities.

4. What factor does charisma play in business success?
Unquestionably, our research and observation suggest that people who are deemed charismatic are more fun to be around, connect with more people and develop relationships that lead to greater income potential in addition to invitations to forums where opportunities present themselves.

5. Must you have charisma to be successful?

No, you don't need charisma to be successful. We position charisma under the umbrella of business development and self-branding. In the Information Age where many people are vying to be heard and recognized, those who possess charisma will have an edge. Today, merit alone is not the sole criterion for success. With the expansion of the Internet and media, the individual has gotten smaller. Consequently, skills like charisma help the individual enlarge herself.

6. How can charisma improve client relations, close more deals and win more contracts?
The success of a company, venture or enterprise begins at the individual level. In contemporary society, people are buying customer service and personalities. The days of big companies making large profits solely through name recognition have passed. Consumers and clients are buying experiences. When you possess charisma, you are creating an experience with people. Your ability to connect with engaging stories and anecdotes that help clarify a problem as well as produce solutions resonate into buying and selling power. Human nature is such that people like doing business with people who make them feel good and demonstrate a level of competency. Charisma propels you into positions of leadership, which demonstrate your abilities as a "go to" person. Winning contracts, proposals and closing deals increase when a person has great charisma coupled with competency. Particularly in the field of law, when people call on an attorney, they are emotionally buying security and peace of mind in addition to legal expertise.

7. How does charisma help with office politics?
One of the downsides of being in situations where divisions and "throat cutting" exist is that all sides want to recruit the charismatic individual to gain control. The charismatic person has good rapport with most everyone including upper management, which all sides want to gain favor. Used effectively, charisma can be used to bridge the gap by appealing to their sense of reason in a non-threatening manner. Remember, the charismatic person has the illusion of having more power than she actually has. Consequently, although these individuals may be her peers, they treat her like a supervisor. She realizes the potency of her personal power and thus remains above the fray and commits to no one in such a scenario.

8. Do you need charisma to be an effective leader?
Studies suggest that you don't need charisma to be an effective leader, but leaders who possess charisma easily influence and lead people and thus are remembered past their tenure. There are endless schools of thought on effective leadership, but very little on developing charismatic leadership. Yet, many of our most loved leaders were highly charismatic. Charismatic leaders not only get into the minds of people, they get into their hearts. Significant change usually occurs when people are motivated at both levels.

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