--Excerpted and edited from The Chopra Center
… Charisma was first defined as a “gift of grace” … Essentially it boils down to cultivating more genuine, trusting relationships. By allowing ourselves to be more transparent to those around us, we are opening the door to deeper connections.
1. Go deep. It may feel more comfortable to keep conversation topics light when talking with someone you don’t know very well, but it’s difficult to know who they really are while discussing mundane subjects such as weather or traffic. By sharing personal information (within reason of course), you are able to show your true self, in turn making the other person feel comfortable enough to do the same.
2. Express your feelings. Charismatic people don’t hide from their feelings and they aren’t afraid to express them. By expressing how they feel, they’re acknowledging that they are imperfect, making them appear more authentic and real. But they don’t wallow in their emotions either.
3. Regulate your feelings. Emotions can have both a positive and negative effect on others, which is why charismatic people are careful in how they express and manage their own emotions. They don’t fly off the handle or have spontaneous outbursts. They understand the importance of appropriately and adequately expressing their emotions so as not to make others feel uncomfortable.
4. Listen to others (and show it)… by practicing active listening, you can make yourself and others feel better about the conversation. Active listening uses both body language and verbal cues to signal genuine interest and concern to the person speaking. Examples of active listening are:
- Sitting close to the speaker
- Leaning forward slightly
- Making eye contact
- Paraphrasing what the speaker said
- Validating the speaker’s thoughts and feelings
- Allowing comfortable silences
5. Call people by name. When you remember and repeat someone’s name in conversation, you are conveying to him or her that he or she is important.
6. Be interesting and interested. Charismatic people are excellent communicators and storytellers. They speak clearly, altering what they have to say and how they say it so as not to lose the interest of the other person…
Just as important (if not more so) is being interested in the other person. Asking questions and bringing up details from previous conversations shows genuine interest and curiosity.
7. Be present. Being present is key for cultivating charisma, which means putting away the cell phone and other distractions that pull you out of the moment.