Many of the worlds most effective leaders are almost certainly labelled as charismatic. Leaders such as John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Bill Clinton, & Barrack Obama have all been associated with having high levels of charisma and yet there's a great deal of vagueness to what charisma really is.
What is charisma? Is it something that you're born with or is it something that you can acquire? And if it is something that you can learn to have, then what is it that you must know so that you too will be labelled as a charismatic leader?
Charisma is essentially the process of skilful communication - both verbal & non verbal. Charismatic leaders are individuals who are verbally eloquent coupled with the ability to communicate to their followers on a deep, emotional level. They possess the ability to articulate a compelling and captivating vision, and are able to arouse strong emotions in followers.
Psychological studies have shown that individuals receive and process information differently. Receiving and processing information are both a conscious & unconscious process. While there is a limit to how much information we can consciously receive and process, the unconscious has unlimited capabilities. It receives everything that comes in contact with our 5 senses before being sent for processing. There have been times when you have had a feeling to act upon something or act a certain way, but couldn't really put a finger on why. Well that's because you're acting upon processed information from what the unconscious has collected.
Therefore, charismatic leaders are communicating to both the conscious and unconscious minds of their followers. They say and do the right things to ensure they put across information in the best way possible for their followers to receive, both consciously & unconsciously; hence igniting a sense of comfort and trust from within their followers.
So the bottom line is that while charisma is something that comes naturally to some, others can actually learn how to have charisma.
NLP & Hypnotherapy Trainer (ABNLP & ABH), Director of JIT & Company (Singapore)
Copyright © 2014 by Jitrendra Purushothaman. All Rights Reserved
Talk to us now to find out more about our "Leading With Charisma (Leadership Series)" program for your organization.