People who are charismatic have a magic combination of being courteous and approachable as well as being able to influence others.
That is why we associate charisma with leadership and with making people feel comfortable.
New research finds there are six signs of a charismatic person:
- Makes people feel comfortable.
- Smiles at people often.
- Can get along with anyone.
- Has a presence in a room.
- Has the ability to influence people.
- Knows how to lead a group.
The first three are related to putting other people at their ease and the other three are related to leadership and presence.
Charisma seems to have little to do with intelligence, the researchers also found.
Highly intelligent people can be highly uncharismatic and relatively unintelligent people can have magnetic personalities.
Generally, though, charismatic people were quite agreeable — they are usually empathetic, warm and considerate.
This helps explain their ability to make people feel comfortable.
The study found that it can take as little as five minutes for people to pick up on someone’s charisma.
Speed is of the essence
For a shortcut to charisma, consider this recent study linking charisma to acting quickly:
People who are mentally quick on their feet are seen as more charismatic by friends.
Speed is of the essence, though, the researchers found, while IQ and mental agility were not as vital as they expected.
Professor William von Hippel, who led the research, said:
“We decided to take a slightly different approach to the problem by trying to get a handle on what enables charisma.
When we looked at charismatic leaders, musicians, and other public figures, one thing that stood out is that they are quick on their feet.”
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The study was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Tskhay et al., 2018).