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CHARISMA. Wiktionary says:

From Ancient Greek χᾰ́ρῐσμᾰ (khárisma, “grace, favour, gift”), from χᾰρῐ́ζομαι (kharízomai, “I show favor”), from χᾰ́ρῐς (kháris, “grace”), from χαίρω (khaírō, “I am happy”).

Perhaps the simplest way to think is —

To be charismatic is to show others you are happy, and to impart that happiness unto others.

1. What is charisma?

In simple terms, having ‘charisma’ means to put others in a good mood. To uplift their spirits.

2. Can an un-charismatic people become more charismatic?

Yes. Training. Just like how you can take any person and make them physically stronger. Every single human being on planet earth has the physiological ability to increase their muscle mass, and reduce their body fat percentage. So if the body has the ability to improve, shouldn’t our personalities do the same?

3. Charismatic towards what ends?

So the question is then —

Why become more charismatic?

I think the simple one is if you seek to empower others, it seems to become more charismatic is a good idea.

4. Why motivate others?

Then the question:

Why motivate others?

A practical thought is that when you empower and motivate others, it actually motivates yourself. It is like a ‘BOGO’ (buy one, get one for free). I like the notion that when you help others, you help yourself, and vice-versa.

5. So what is the secret sauce?

Simple thoughts:

First of all, negativity is the poison. To uplift others, compliment them, and see the good in them.

It takes 1000x more skill to see the good and positive in others, than to see the negative.

6. Speak your (honest) mind, in a positive way.

Breaking social conventions. Going off-script. Never give a straight answer. Joke.

7. Treat others like how you would like to be complimented

A simple ethical thought:

If you like it when others compliment you, in a certain way … just do it for others.

It won’t always work. But better to risk it, than to follow social norms.

8. Social risk-taking

Everyone talks about entrepreneurial risk-taking. But nobody talks about social risk-taking. To go off-script and to make ‘un-politically correct’ jokes, or to say anything or do anything that is not “PC”. My thought:

If you always follow a PC script, you will never become charismatic.

9. Let others do the talking

Ironically enough, to become more charismatic means to let OTHERS do more of the talking. Even ancient wisdom says:

There is no sound sweeter than the sound of our own voice, or our own name.

10. Remember the names of others.

I am bad with names, but I have created all these little mnemonic tricks to help me:

Whenever you meet someone, think of another famous person with a similar name, and say it.

For example if you meet a “Tom”, you can say — “Like Tom Brady, right?” This often gets a few frowns, but it works– you will remember their name.

11. Practice and training

To become more charismatic takes skill and practice, and social difficulty. Lean into the uncomfortableness, and difficulty.


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