Bill walks into a meeting after a failed product launch to greet an exhausted and demotivated team that desperately needs his direction. Robin gets ready to confront a brilliant but underperforming subordinate who needs to be put back on track. What they require is charisma—the ability to communicate a clear, visionary, and inspirational message that captivates and motivates an audience. So how do you learn charisma? They say that charismatic people are born that way—as naturally expressive and persuasive extroverts. While we agree with the latter contention, we disagree with the former.
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Bill walks into a meeting after a failed product launch to greet an exhausted and demotivated team that desperately needs his direction.
Robin gets ready to confront a brilliant but underperforming subordinate who needs to be put back on track. What they require is charisma—the ability to communicate a clear, visionary, and inspirational message that captivates and motivates an audience.
So how do you learn charisma? They say that charismatic people are born that way—as naturally expressive and persuasive extroverts. While we agree with the latter contention, we disagree with the former. Just as athletes rely on hard training and the right game plan to win a competition, leaders who want to become charismatic must study the CLTs, practice them religiously, and have a good deployment strategy.
What Is Charisma? Charisma is rooted in values and feelings. If a leader can do those three things well, he or she can then tap into the hopes and ideals of followers, give them a sense of purpose, and inspire them to achieve great things. Several large-scale studies have shown that charisma can be an invaluable asset in any work context—small or large, public or private, Western or Asian.
But the most effective leaders layer charismatic leadership on top of transactional and instrumental leadership to achieve their goals. In our research, we have identified a dozen key CLTs.
Some of them you may recognize as long-standing techniques of oratory. Three tactics are nonverbal: animated voice, facial expressions, and gestures. There are other CLTs that leaders can use—such as creating a sense of urgency, invoking history, using repetition, talking about sacrifice, and using humor—but the 12 described in this article are the ones that have the greatest effect and can work in almost any context.
In eight of the past 10 U. The managers who practice them typically learned them by trial and error, without thinking consciously about them. We teach managers the CLTs by outlining the concepts and then showing news and film clips that highlight examples from business, sports, and politics.
Managers must then experiment with and practice the tactics—on video, in front of peers, and on their own. A group of midlevel European executives with an average age of 35 that did so as part of our training almost doubled their use of CLTs in presentations.
They were then able to take the tactics back to their jobs. We saw the same thing happen with another group of executives with an average age of 42 in a large Swiss firm. The aim is to use the CLTs not only in public speaking but also in everyday conversations—to be more charismatic all the time.
The tactics work because they help you create an emotional connection with followers, even as they make you appear more powerful, competent, and worthy of respect. Connect, Compare, and Contrast Charismatic speakers help listeners understand, relate to, and remember a message.
A powerful way to do this is by using metaphors, similes, and analogies. Martin Luther King Jr. The message is crystal clear and easy to retain. Metaphors can be effective in any professional context, too. Joe, a manager we worked with, used one to predispose his team to get behind an urgent relocation. The difference is that we have four months instead of nine months to prepare.
Stories and anecdotes also make messages more engaging and help listeners connect with the speaker. A few days before my wedding, she hosted a bridal event, at which she read aloud a letter about marriage that she had written to Melinda.
We got caught in bad weather, and we could have died up there. But working together, we managed to survive. And we made what at first seemed impossible, possible.
Today we are in an economic storm, but by pulling together, we can turn this situation around and succeed. Contrasts are a key CLT because they combine reason and passion; they clarify your position by pitting it against the opposite, often to dramatic effect.
Think of John F. Here are some examples from managers newly trained in the CLTs. Think again of Martin Luther King Jr. Anita Roddick—founder of the Body Shop—once used three rhetorical questions to explain what led her to help start the social responsibility movement. How do you embed it in the community? How do you make community a social purpose for business? Will it be back to your office feeling sorry for yourself? Or do you want to show what you are capable of achieving?
Why three? Because most people can remember three things; three is sufficient to provide proof of a pattern, and three gives an impression of completeness. We have the best team. Yet we did not make the sales target. Next, we need to see where we went wrong. Then, we need to come up with a plan that will convince the board to give us the resources to get it right the next time. On Victory Day at the end of the Second World War, Winston Churchill brilliantly captured the feelings of the British people and also conveyed a spirit of honor, courage, and compassion.
This is not victory of a party or of any class. We were the first, in this ancient island, to draw the sword against tyranny There we stood, alone. The lights went out and the bombs came down.
But every man, woman, and child in the country had no thought of quitting the struggle Now we have emerged from one deadly struggle—a terrible foe has been cast on the ground and awaits our judgment and our mercy. Apart from wasting money, this is not right, especially because the fix is so simple. We all feel disappointed and demotivated.
Some of you have told me you have had sleepless nights; others, that there are tensions in the team, even at home because of this. Personally, life to me has become dull and tasteless. I know how hard we have all worked and the bitterness we feel because success just slipped out of our reach.
I have a plan. Even if my eyes close before there is freedom, nonviolence will not end. Other teams would be right to tremble at the knees, but we are not just another team. I know you can rise to the challenge. I believe in each one of you, which means that I believe that we can get the prototype to manufacturing in three months. We have the experience. The three nonverbal cues—expressions of voice, body, and face—are also key to charisma.
Emotion—sadness, happiness, excitement, surprise—must come through in the voice. Pauses are also important because they convey control. Facial expressions These help reinforce your message. So be sure to make eye contact one of the givens of charisma , and get comfortable smiling, frowning, and laughing at work. Gestures These are signals for your listeners. A fist can reinforce confidence, power, and certitude. Waving a hand, pointing, or pounding a desk can help draw attention.
Simple: Preparation and practice. We also encourage leaders to think about them before one-on-one conversations or team meetings in which they need to be persuasive. The idea is to arm yourself with a few key CLTs that feel comfortable to you and therefore will come out spontaneously—or at least look as if they did. With time and practice, they will start to come out on the fly. The managers with the lowest initial charisma ratings in our studies were able to significantly narrow the gap between themselves and their peers to whom the tactics came naturally.
But the CLTs can make you more charismatic in the eyes of your followers, and that will invariably make you a more effective leader. Marika Fenley has a Ph. It is not intended for use as assigned course material in academic institutions nor as corporate learning or training materials in businesses. Academic licensees may not use this content in electronic reserves, electronic course packs, persistent linking from syllabi or by any other means of incorporating the content into course resources.
Business licensees may not host this content on learning management systems or use persistent linking or other means to incorporate the content into learning management systems. Harvard Business Publishing will be pleased to grant permission to make this content available through such means. For rates and permission, contact permissions harvardbusiness.
Oct 8, 2 John Antonakis is Professor of Organizational Behavior and Director of the PhD program in Management at the University of Lausanne , Editor in Chief of The Leadership Quarterly , and a prominent researcher on leadership and power, individual differences, social cognition, and applied psychometrics and econometrics. John is best known for his research on charisma as well as for his work and advocacy to advance the field of social science through robust causal analysis. How did you get into Organizational Behavior and what drives you in all these activities? I started out in pursuing Bachelor of Economic Sciences degree. I switched to hospitality and tourism management and then got an MBA.
LEARNING CHARISMA JOHN ANTONAKIS PDF
Dinos For example, you can ask questions to assist in coaching an employee to set goalswhile facilitating a strategy session, or to push back against unrealistic goals set by your manager. You can contact him on TwitterLinkedin or Skype rafweverbergh. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their Cjarisma and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. We all feel disappointed and demotivated.