There are a ton of different forms of charisma but the major four, and the ones we will be talking about in this article are: focus, visionary, kindness, and authority. We will discuss the characteristics of each form, when are the best times to use from each, and how to express each form of charisma. This article is heavily inspired by the book The Charisma Myth, if you like this article and want to learn more I highly recommend this book. Additionally, this article talks a lot about the foundations of charisma: presents, power, and warmth. To learn more about the foundations of charisma check out this article.
The Four Types of Charisma and When to Use Them:
The focus charisma type centers on being present. A person who is demonstrating a high level of focused charisma is somebody who is completely present and makes other people feel listened to and understood. When displaying focused charisma, you need to make people feel heard and listened to and make them feel like what they have to say matters. An example of somebody with high focus charisma is Elon Musk.
Focus charisma is great for business and for getting information, as well as raising morale and getting useful feedback. By actively listening and being present, people will feel important and believe you care what they have to say. This will lead to higher morale and much more honest feedback and information.
The visionary charisma type is based on inspiration and high energy. The visionary charismatic person conveys warmth, conviction, and power. They are seen as somebody who genuinely cares about what they are talking about, truly believes it can be accomplished, and has the power to make it happen. A great example of a visionary is Steve Jobs.
Visionary charisma is perfect for any situation where you need to inspire people. If you have low morale at work because profits are down, you can use visionary charisma to get people believing again. If you have a great product idea but nobody seems interested, you can use visionary charisma to get people believing in your product and believing in you. Whenever there is a lack of ambition and inspiration try visionary charisma; the results will impress you.
The kindness charisma type is based on genuine care, sympathy and empathy. A person who demonstrates high levels of kindness charisma exudes warmth and compassion and has a high level of empathy. People feel that they can trust a person demonstrating kindness charisma and feel very comfortable around them. This makes people much more willing to open up and connect on a deep level. A great example of someone who demonstrates kindness charisma is the Dalai Lama.
Kindness charisma is perfect for any situation in which you want to make a deeper connection with somebody. Maybe there is a person you like and you want to get to know better, or perhaps there is a tense situation at work and you want everybody to calm down and feel more comfortable. These are all great times to use kindness charisma.
The authority charisma type is based on power. A person who has a high level of authority charisma is someone perceived as powerful. They are someone who you would like on your side because you know they can get things done. They are people you would avoid going against for fear of the consequences. A good example of someone with authority charisma is Colin Powell.
Authority charisma is best used in situations where you want to take charge and have people follow what you say. A great example is an emergency situation, where people must act quickly and effectively. Whenever things need to get done quickly and effectively, you can use authority charisma to take charge and get people listening to you. Never use this method in sensitive situations, like funerals or weddings. If authority charisma is not used correctly and in the right situations, you can look like an arrogant, non-sympathetic person.
How to Achieve Each Form of Charisma:
To attain a high level of focus charisma, you will have to develop your abilities to be present. Presence is the number one trait of focus charisma. By mastering being present, you will already be more focused. A simple trick to increase your presence is to focus on your breathing whenever your mind drifts. Once you focus on your breathing, it brings your mind back to whatever activity you are doing. You must also learn to be a good listener; try to listen twice as much as you talk. Never think about what you are going to say next; listen completely to what the person has to say, then decide what to say.
To have visionary charisma, you must first fundamentally believe what you are saying. You must truly and completely believe whatever vision you are trying to get behind is doable and can work. If you do not completely believe it, people will see that and they will never follow. Once you have unrelenting conviction, you have to work on how you sell it. Make your vision presentable — something that someone else would want to see happen — and convey to other people that you will be the person to make it happen. This will make them want to follow you, since you convinced them that you have the power to accomplish your vision, and they will want your vision to become a reality.
The key to having kindness charisma is by practicing warmth. You have to train yourself to become a warm person. That means being sympathetic and empathetic with other people’s problems. You have to truly appreciate every person you talk to and believe that everybody has some value to add. You need soothing body language that expresses to other people you care about them and that you are there to help with whatever problem they have. Do not, however, be a push over. In order to master kindness charisma, you have to demonstrate power as well. You have to make people believe that you care about them but are not their servant. You must listen, sympathize and empathize, but make sure to not fall in the trap of being everyone’s therapist.
Authority charisma is obviously based on power. You need to appear powerful, and there are four main things to keep in mind: body language, appearance, title, and the reaction of others. The first two, body language and appearance, are the most important. With the right body language, you will instantly be seen as powerful. If you stand up straight – chest out, stomach in, and shoulders out wide – people will perceive your power. Next is appearance: if you wear clothes that demand authority, you will be perceived as powerful. If you wear a suit, or a police uniform, or a fireman uniform people will naturally associate that with power. If you have an official title, people might listen to you but that does not mean you are coming off as somebody with authority charisma; the same is true with reactions of others. Other people might act as if you have power because of your title, but it does not mean you are demonstrating authority charismatic. Body Language and Appearance matter most. Title and the reactions of others are supplements, but useless without Body Language and Appearance.
Authority is the hardest one to pull off because of how much power you have to demonstrate while, at the same time, showing warmth. Contrary to what Machiavelli said in The Prince, to be charismatic, you have to be “feared” and “loved.” To truly have authority charisma you have to be “feared” (aka be seen as powerful) and, at the same time, have enough warmth that people love you. It is a fine line and very hard to master. That is why I suggest only attempting it in very specific circumstances where the situation calls for it.
These are the four major forms of charisma and how to achieve them. Becoming a master at all of these techniques will greatly increase how charismatic you are perceived to be. It is important to note, however, that the most charismatic people display characteristics of all of them and form their own unique charismatic technique. Charismatic people also are able to switch from one form to the next, in an instant, depending on the situation. Once you master them, try combining them and see what works best for you.
As always, below I have included links to books I feel can provide additional information if you want to learn more about Charisma. I always try to provide the most useful information possible in my articles but I always like to offer supplementary reading for those who wish to dive deeper.
Have any questions or comments? Meet me in the comment section and we will discuss further.