The Law of Charisma

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Do you have a magnetic or charismatic personality? Do you envy those who do? If so, you have a lot of company. Though some men and women enter a room and immediately attract everyone in it through some natural gift, they are in the minority.

In fact, it leads me to an important point. Fame or notoriety is not the same as charisma. In my work, I have met several people society might call celebrities such as actors, athletes or media personalities. They walk into a room and immediately attract attention. However, it is often amusing to observe what happens when a celebrity meets someone who has no idea who they are; frequently, they strike no impression and no reaction. It’s like having gold or silver try to be magnetic. No attraction! No charisma!


Confidence Breeds Charisma

On the other hand, I have known charismatic plumbers, teachers, nurses, and dog trainers. They are the iron, nickel, and cobalt of magnetic attraction. They exude energy and self-assurance that are astounding. It leads me to point out that magnetism or charisma can be developed, learned and cultivated. It stems from confidence.

It is far better to be interesting and informed than “famous.” I’ve known many writers, for example, who are experts in history or music who are quite charismatic because they are confident in what they’re saying and have devoted many years to be as knowledgeable as possible in their area of expertise. Here’s something else that’s interesting about those people. An expert in one field, let’s say, jazz or classical music, is always open to engaging other music lovers and in sharing and comparing knowledge. When a person is genuinely interested in hearing what others have to say, it creates magnetism.

Separating charisma from confidence is impossible. Recently, I was in the company of a woman who described herself as “just a staff member at a non-profit organization.” I started asking her questions, and within a few minutes, I was utterly captivated. While she didn’t have an impressive title or an office to match, her confidence in who she was, what she did, and her passion for learning as much as possible about every aspect of her profession blew me away. She was wholly authentic and passionate about her work.


Warmth And Character

How does a person grow their outlook to be more charismatic and to have more of a magnetic personality? I am reminded of a schoolteacher who devoted himself to teaching the sciences to children of the inner city. His work single-handedly helped inspire disadvantaged children to become scientists, physicians, mathematicians, and professors ultimately. He attracted people with his quiet self-assurance and his willingness to communicate. Among the unmistakable traits he exhibited with everyone were: humility, optimism, an evident curiosity, an approachability and tremendous gratitude for his life.

He dressed nicely, but not expensively; he spoke beautifully, but not haughtily; he cared deeply, but not exclusively; that is, he was interested in what everyone had to say.

What don’t magnetic personality types do? In our town is a man who was born and raised in a war-ravaged Middle Eastern country. When he got to this country, he decided to be a plumber. Sam has become very successful with a fleet of trucks and several employees. He is loved and respected, and his customers love his personality and his work.

What traits does he exhibit? Among those attributes Sam demonstrates is that he never gossips, he never brags, and he listens just as intently as he explains. Sam has seen terrible, awful things in his life. He understands that to live virtuously is never to be arrogant or to make excuses, but most of all, to not take everything so seriously. Life is too short, he believes, to turn every little thing into a major catastrophe. As a result, he does not use foul language or to disparage an employee who tried hard to do a good job and came up short in the eyes of a customer.

Everyone can learn to be much more magnetic or charismatic than they are, but it is essential first to understand that if we want this of ourselves, we must always remember to elevate those around us. The people who can capture our attention regardless of what they’re doing have charisma, and that is the law of charisma!


For more information about Hall of Fame speaker and bestselling author Steve Gilliland and the Gilliland Foundation, please contact steve@stevegilliland.com / 724-540-5019 / www.stevegilliland.com.