MAN STUFF: Leadership and The Charisma Equation

AOM/BRETT MCKAY- Are you a senior in high school running for Student Council President?

Are you an entrepreneur looking to make a successful pitch and attract investors?

Are you a military officer working to win your men’s loyalty?

Are you a salesman trying to land some new clients?

Are you a college professor wanting to get through to your students?

Are you a single guy looking for love?

No matter your situation in life and your individual aims, one of the most important tools for success is your personal charisma. Charisma is what allows you to command a room, draw others to you, and convince people of your ideas. It’s an essential part of being the kind of leader who wins devoted followers who are willing to go to the ends of the earth for you. Charismatic men are perceived as both likeable and powerful, a dynamic, irresistible combination that opens endless doors to them.

For today, we’ll start off by talking about the first component of charisma: Presence.

Charisma Component #1: Presence

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and you could tell you didn’t have their complete attention?

How did it make you feel?

Probably a bit annoyed.

Sadly, it seems fewer and fewer people are fully present and engaged with the individuals they’re interacting with. Being completely engaged in a conversation has likely always been a challenge, as we all have a bit of the conversational narcissist in us.

Now that smartphones have saturated modern life, being fully present is even harder.

The good news about all this is that it’s now incredibly easy to set yourself apart from the pack simply by being fully present with people and giving them your complete attention.

When you think of charisma, you might think of trying to make yourself seem super awesome to others. But the paradoxical secret of charisma is that it’s not about trumpeting your good qualities, but making the other person feel good about himself. Real charisma makes the other person feel important; when they finish an interaction with you, they feel better about themselves than they did before.

Focusing your mental and emotional energy on someone as you interact is how you create that feeling of importance. People fundamentally want attention – they want to be recognized and acknowledged.

Below are some tips on developing your charismatic presence:

Bring yourself to the here and now.

Make sure you’re physically comfortable. It’s hard to be fully present with someone when all you’re thinking about is how uncomfortably tight your pants are or how hot it is.

Set your devices on silent and put them out of sight. This serves two purposes. First, it reduces the temptation for you to check them while you’re engaging with someone. Second, it sends a strong message to the person you’re with that they have your complete attention and they’re not sharing it with the smartphone placed on the table.

Look the person in the eye when they’re talking. Numerous studies have shown that people who make higher levels of eye contact with others are perceived as possessing a load of desirable traits, including warmth, honesty, sincerity, competency.

Nod to show that you’re listening. Besides eye contact, an easy way to convey presence is through body language, and more specifically, nodding your head.

Ask clarifying questions. An easy way to show someone that you’re completely there with them is to ask clarifying questions after he or she has spoken.

Avoid fidgeting. Fidgeting signals to the other person that you’re not comfortable or content and that there’s somewhere else you’d rather be.

Don’t think about how you’re going to respond while the person is still talking. We all have a tendency to do this. Our inner conversational narcissist wants to be ready to jump in and start talking as soon as there’s an opening.

Wait two seconds before responding. Breaking in the very instant a person pauses or stops talking signals to them that you were doing the above; thinking about what you were going to say instead of fully listening to them.

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