Thursday, 17 June 2010

Nine simple steps to becoming overwhelmingly charismatic

Don't you just love it when what appears to be a dry and dusty piece of academic literature suddenly offers a thought-provoking insight into an important issue?

Browsing through (as one does!) and article entitled "The effective use of power" by Benfari, Wilkinson and Orth, I stumbled across their discussion of referent power or charisma: the ability of a leader to exert influence based on the belief of their followers that the leader has desirable abilities that can (and should) be copied.

Benfari and his academic chums suggest that developing charisma is valuable and straightforward and (very importantly!) doesn't cost anything! Here are their keys to charisma:
  • Get to know the motives, preferences, values and interests of your colleagues
  • Respect differences in interests and don't attack another person's style
  • Give "positive strokes", use reward power, confirm others' competence
  • Invite reciprocal influence, show that you respect their influence
  • Share information, give your expertise, particularly where you stand to benefit
  • Minimize concerns with status, put signs of office aside
  • Develop communication skills, use clear and consistent messages
  • Understand how people react to stress and crisis
  • Get to know the informal political structure of your organisation

Simple! Let's get started!

1 comment:

  1. In summary therefore they are saying that charisma is something that anyone can achieve by following the steps above.

    I disagree.

    To me the list above are the things that would make you into a great manager or a great colleague. Charisma in my book is something more intangible: the person who holds you captivated when they speak; the person who walks into a room and, without uttering a word, changes the dynamics; the person who tells you to jump and you ask ‘How high?’

    So follow that above and you’ll be great to know and great to work with. Will you be charismatic? Well maybe but only because you have it in your genes.