One of my original guides – produced to accompany a talk that I often used to be called on to give to senior executive gatherings – was “Acquiring Gravitas”. You can download a copy here: http://www.the-confidant.info/2010/acquiring-gravitas-sometimes-called-charisma/.
It’s a theme that comes up quite often, and there’s a couple more articles on the subject in my library – http://www.the-confidant.info/2011/cultivating-gravitas-what-is-spirituality/ and http://www.the-confidant.info/2010/call-it-gravitas-or-charisma-its-the-quality-that-distinguishes-statesmen-from-politicians/.
I was prompted to remind you of these because of an email from a coach in Belgium today. She was asking about the process by which we develop charisma.
Whereas Gravitas is often associated with a sober mood, Charisma is often associated with extroverts who can become the magnet at the centre of a packed room. Personally, I see them as closely linked in that they are about the regulation of our behaviour with others that creates a particular impression.
Charisma – to me, at least, is a subtle combination of being able to behave with others in a manner that we choose, with the ability to communicate our thoughts clearly.
A lot of people invest plenty of time on the presentation of their thoughts, but are let down by the tendency for their behaviour not to match what they would like.
This isn’t usually all the time, but is often provoked by specific things. So, when I work with executives wishing to develop more charisma, I generally encourage them to keep a detailed journal – recording the events of the day, what went well and what went less well, and then to focus on the ‘less wells’ – exploring the circumstances, their feelings at the time, what they were thinking before, during and after, what they did and how they would have liked to be.
It is out of this analysis that we often find consistent patterns of circumstances that provoke the individual to act too spontaneously. I’m all for spontaneity but that needs to happen when we are feeling confident and ‘in control’ of the situation.
I hope that makes sense. I’m always happy to fix a time to speak in more detail on the phone if that would help.