Obama, Clin­ton, Marilyn, Diana.... Long be­fore Face­book, some peo­ple have al­ways known how to ramp up their ‘like’ score. Jane Alexan­der ex­plains the cu­ri­ous chem­istry of charisma

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - BODY & SOUL -

Some peo­ple just ooze charisma. They’re the kind of peo­ple who are in­trepid lead­ers and leg­endary lovers. Wher­ever they go, they’re the cen­tre of at­ten­tion. Hugely suc­cess­ful and highly mem­o­rable, they’re the true movers and shak­ers of so­ci­ety, the kind of peo­ple who ride re­ces­sions with ease; who make the most of even the tough­est sit­u­a­tion. And, says Joanna Kozub­ska, you could be like them. The au­thor of The Seven Keys Of Charisma (Ko­gan Page) in­sists that charisma isn’t a God-given gift, be­stowed on the lucky few; it’s some­thing we can all de­velop.

Kozub­ska, a pro­fes­sor of man­age­rial com­mu­ni­ca­tions, con­ducted painstak­ing re­search to find out pre­cisely what makes one per­son charis­matic — and an­other a dead bore. She dis­cov­ered there were seven keys to charisma. Seven vi­tal steps which could turn you into a busi­ness mag­nate or a red-hot lover. Seven steps to find­ing your­self the cen­tre of at­ten­tion, the life and soul of the party. Here’s how to do it…


Charis­matic peo­ple all have an ab­so­lute con­fi­dence in their own abil­i­ties. They’re the kind of peo­ple who would ask a com­plete stranger out on a date, who would dare to start up a busi­ness that ev­ery­one else thinks is crazy. They are the first on the dance-floor and the last to leave. They ab­so­lutely refuse to think a neg­a­tive thought and have the courage to take risks. Most of all they are to­tally in love with life, with who they are and what they do — they make no apol­ogy for it.

Dare to take risks. Find the courage to ‘have a go’. Push your­self just that lit­tle bit fur­ther than you would usu­ally go.

Ac­cept that you will have fail­ures, that you will make mis­takes. Don’t ever think you can’t try some­thing for fear of fail­ure. When you do make mis­takes, learn from them — don’t ever be crushed by them. Peo­ple with charisma of­ten fail on their way to suc­cess.

‘See’ your suc­cess by en­vi­sion­ing — imag­ine your­self be­hav­ing the way you want, achiev­ing what­ever it is you want to achieve. Re­hearse how you would feel, that warm sat­is­fy­ing glow. Then do it.


Ev­ery­one with charisma has a clear vi­sion of what they want from life. They could tell you what they want to be do­ing and where they want to be five, 10, 20 years down the line. It could be a vi­sion of a happy fam­ily, liv­ing com­fort­ably and con­tent­edly; it might be head­ing a hugely suc­cess­ful cor­po­ra­tion. It might be achiev­ing some sport­ing or artis­tic goal. What­ever it is, they are to­tally cer­tain of the path they want to take.


Write your own obit­u­ary. What would you want said about you af­ter your death? If you know what you want to have achieved by the end of your life, then you will gain a good idea of what you ought to be do­ing in the here and now.

Think about your val­ues and be­liefs. What do you con­sider your pur­pose in life? What val­ues are im­por­tant in your life? Ev­ery­one with charisma has a clear set of val­ues and be­liefs.


Charis­mat­ics are usu­ally born com­mu­ni­ca­tors. But they don’t just set­tle for their God­given gifts: they work at it. And it’s not just a case of speak­ing elo­quently (though that helps); it’s also about lis­ten­ing and show­ing you care. Peo­ple with charisma make you feel im­por­tant be­cause they give you their ab­so­lute at­ten­tion. They also speak with en­thu­si­asm — in their tone of voice, in their body lan­guage, in their words and ges­tures. Speak­ing with pas­sion, lis­ten­ing with in­tense care — these are quite ir­re­sistible.

Watch your pos­ture — keep up­right, poised and yet open and ex­pan­sive.

When you’re talk­ing to some­one, re­ally lis­ten and show you care about their thoughts and feel­ings. There is noth­ing so charis­matic as mak­ing peo­ple feel they’re wanted and in­ter­est­ing.

De­velop your in­tu­ition. Try to sense what other peo­ple want and need. Fo­cus in­tently on them and be open to gut feel­ings. If you learn the knack, you can respond to other peo­ple’s un­spo­ken needs as if by magic.

Keep a good sense of hu­mour — all true charis­mat­ics have it.


Peo­ple with charisma make things hap­pen. They’re the ones at work who come up with the wildest, most creative new ideas. They’re the kind of lover who whisks you off on in­cred­i­ble sur­prise trips. They’re ex­cit­ing

Style de­scribes the way we do things: our way of dress­ing, how we deal with peo­ple, the pos­ses­sions we have, and the way we con­duct our­selves. When our way of do­ing things is dif­fer­ent — and su­pe­rior — we are said to have style. Any­one with true charisma is al­ways dis­tinc­tive. Style re­quires be­ing dif­fer­ent, stand­ing out from the crowd — and that is never easy.

Choose your clothes with care — they should re­flect your per­sonal iden­tity yet still leave you feel­ing com­fort­able in ev­ery sit­u­a­tion. Ex­per­i­ment with clothes, make-up and your hair un­til you find your ‘true’ style. If you’re not sure, try hav­ing a makeover, find a good new hair­dresser, get some ad­vice from an in-store fash­ion ad­viser.

Al­low your­self to be creative in all ar­eas of your life. Let your­self come up with end­less ideas — they don’t all have to be good ones. Play with new ideas, strange thoughts, crazy con­cepts.

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