During election season there is a lot of discussion about which candidates have the most charisma. Dictionary.com defines charisma as a personal quality that gives an individual influence or authority over large numbers of people. We often assume that the most charismatic leaders are also the best leaders but a Harvard Business Review study indicates that too much charisma may actually hinder a leader’s effectiveness. When self-confidence becomes narcissism or persuasiveness turns into manipulative behavior, that isn’t effective leadership.
Here are some ways to demonstrate the right level of charisma:
- Make a good first impression – you have less than a second to do so. The way you walk, dress, shake hands and make eye contact speak volumes before you ever open your mouth.
- Focus on others – express genuine interest by asking questions and listening to the answers without thinking about what you’re going to say next.
- Be appropriately passionate – talk with enthusiasm about what excites you and tell compelling stories.
How can you leverage charisma as one element of Executive Presence to be a more effective leader?