Like fate, charisma can be fickle. Or at least it can seem to be.
Ever notice how someone can have so much charisma in one setting and then have none in another? Changing towns, schools or jobs can be an opportunity to reinvent yourself or for the formerly popular, it can be a rude awakening.
What is going on?
There are two scenarios where someone will be perceived as having charisma.
Scenario #1: Circumstantial Charisma
You lucky dog. Guess what? The room, company or relationship you are in just happens to totally love the way you are. The stars have aligned and you are giving that person exactly what they need from an emotional standpoint. Here’s the rub. You are a just being you and the the pieces just happen to fit. In other words, if someone needed something different, you wouldn’t be able to recognize it or perhaps you would, but you would just go on doing you.
People with Circumstantial Charisma are only charismatic when the situation they are in fits them perfectly.
Scenario #2: Bona Fide Charisma
How do you pronounce that, anyway? Bona figh? Bona fee-day? I can never remember. But, I digress. You are a shapeshifter. Not only can you sense what others need, you can adapt to provide people exactly what they need from an emotional perspective. You are still you, but you can shift gears, unlike the person with only Circumstantial Charisma. If you think about it, on a smaller scale, we do this all the time. Or we should. You don’t talk to a child, a stranger, a family member and a boss in exactly the same way. In the same way may be adjustments for a person’s language abilities and our social relationships with them, a person with Bona Fide Charisma makes adjustments to give whoever they are with the emotion that they need.
I know you probably have questions. Allow to address the two most common ones.
Q1: “Emotion that they need? What does that even mean?”
Think about someone you need who is going through a rough patch. Depending on that exact moment you are with them, they could need a few different things emotionally. Support. Kindness,. Inspiration. Acceptance. Levity.
Now imagine you bring to them, through the way you are and the way you interact with them, exactly what they need. Not what you are good at delivering and not what you think they should have, but what they need. That is charisma.
Each person, each situation, each moment may require one of a myriad of things. It’s not about asking a person what they need either. It is you sensing and knowing, perhaps before they do, what it is they need and then delivering it. It’s like the Henry Ford quote below and Steve Job adopted a similar approach for his customers.
If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.
Q2: “Are you proposing we just give people whatever they want and forget about ourselves? That sounds pathetic, not charismatic!”
What you are saying makes a lot of sense. The difference here is we are talking about moving someplace together and you are leading. So it is not about taking orders or being the perfect servant and figuring out what they want before they know what it is. It’s about the best place for the both of you to go together and this means who you are and what you bring goes into the mix and ends up creating the final destination.
Here is the key.
When you are deeply connected to someone and are open to your own authentic self, you don’t have to think about what to do. You will just know what to do and what you do will be charismatic.