“The truth is that charisma is a learned behavior, a skill to be developed in much the same way that we learned to walk or practice vocabulary when studying a new language.”

-Bryan Clark, “What Makes People Charismatic, and How You Can Be, TooThe New York Times. August 15, 2019.

Argues that charisma is presence, power and warmth. When we focus on other people, they tend to notice our attention and the fact that we find them worth noticing. People like to be noticed, and they tend to like people that notice them.

Power seems to be used in the sense of confidence. There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. But, most people don’t have too much confidence. They have too little. As a result, the end up doing a lot of complaining: about their lack of agency, about the unsatisfactory things in their lives, etc. No one wants to hear about other people’s problems. Everyone has plenty of their own.

Warmth. In a cold, cruel world, be someone else’s sunshine. Be everyone’s sunshine, if you can. Some people seem like they are born that way. Even if you weren’t, who doesn’t appreciate the effort?

Suggestions for improving your charisma? Learn to tell stories. Our stories make us relatable and telling them to others requires focus, confidence and the vulnerability of sharing ourselves with others, which if it isn’t warmth, it’s in the neighborhood.

3 thoughts on “Charisma

  1. “If it isn’t warmth, it’s in the neighbourhood”:) Charisma to me is that indefinable, ephemeral something that some people exude. It seems to be inate in some people. Don’t think it can be learned.
    Stories….you are right there, we are storytelling animals everyone loves a good story.
    Day 2 about to begin…….yesterday felt like 3 days in one…28 people, many stories, a few ‘problems’ but when do you not have those in a group of people? Today “the shadow” putting some light on that:) Mark is a great facilitator, cuts through the bullshit put this many people in one room and there will be plenty of that. Will be a very interesting few days……

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