Using Charisma to Engage People in a Business Context. By Judy Chicangana

I didn’t realise how important charisma is until I heard a podcast the other day. They were talking about the UK prime minister as a person with a lot of skills, knowledge and experience; but with an immense lack of charisma. They pointed this out as the key feature to her downfall at this crucial and decisive moment in the UK’s history.

Max Weber, a management author, spoke about charismatic authority and how it should be considered as an integral part of the administration. Weber believed that charisma is a remarkable feature of every leader. In 1970, professor Donald McIntosh said: “Charisma is not so much a quality as an experience. The charismatic object or person is experienced as possessed by and transmitting an uncanny and compelling force”.  So, charismatic individuals can inspire and influence others. They can connect to other’s emotions using them as their link to engage masses to their message. Some examples of charismatic people are Princess Diana, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill.

Engaging customers, stakeholders, colleagues, friends and people in general is something that many of us struggle with. Nowadays, how to engage others is a widespread concern for management in every company, mainly if you are working on a project or in change management. Schaufeli (2013) defines engagement as involvement, commitment, passion, enthusiasm, absorption, focussed effort, zeal, dedication and energy. How can we awaken all those feelings in others? How could we engage others if we are not leaders? Well, I found some tips that could help you.

Developing your charisma

Evidently, not everyone is born charismatic. However, we could cultivate the habits to develop this feature on us. Here are a few tips that could help you with this task. If there are too many, do not worry, go step by step.

Click here to read more about Active Listening.

Engaging with charisma

In this section, I present a few tips that could help you to engage others using your charisma, however, you should be aware that it requires additional skills such as Emotional Intelligence (I will write an entire post about this subject).


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