Authentic Charisma and the Power of Positive Influence

Dr Brian Monger and Kylie Prince

You’ve tried and tried to convince others of your ideas and position. You’ve worked hard, laid out your logical arguments — but you still have trouble being listened to. Your good ideas (even with great Power Points) do not seem to sway them. Yet you see others, whose ideas are seemingly less developed, who have not done the hard yards, succeed more quickly and easily than you do.

Psychologists and behaviourists will tell you that the approach you are taking (hard work and being clever)  is rarely successful. Good intentions, great ideas, and hard work are not enough to make it.

To succeed you will need the support of others

People with higher levels of charisma influence others. People with positive, authentic charisma influence others in positive ways so both benefit.

Think of charisma as force of character, or personal presence.

Charisma is a behavioural quality that anyone can develop. With the right information (and some assistance) anyone can increase their personal influence.

Other similar terms to charisma, include personal magnetism force of character, strong personal appeal or gravitas

Charisma is the spirit with which a person which can enlighten a whole room.

People with higher levels of charisma get noticed, listened to, respected, and followed. In short they are more likely to succeed, because the reality of success is that you need others to help and support you. Being smart, having good ideas and working hard are seldom enough.

A strong charismatic personal presence is useful for relationships of all sorts (leading, teaching, entrepreneuring, selling, speaking and developing professionally) Having an effective charismatic force of character is also useful for defending yourself and others, and for negotiating, complaining, and seeking redress.

Authentic charisma, the power of personal influence is not commonly taught, but it can be.

Despite the early origins of the word, the notion that charisma is ‘God-given’ or exclusive to a lucky few is simply not true. What people may see as an accident of nature or perhaps heritage is in reality the result of experience and learning – it has been learned.

Ordinary people achieve success (in many fields) and even greatness every day, because they can influence others.

Becoming charismatic is not a gift from the gods. If you want to be charismatic, you can be.

What’s So Useful About Charisma?

Charisma is not about showing off. It is a useful personal tool.

Charisma enables us to influence our external environment and the expectations of others which from time to time we all need to do – even the introverts among us.

If you want to succeed then you have a good reason for developing your charismatic powers.

Charisma is an applied force of human personality which can be understood, measured, and developed.

Charisma is not just for those in senior or leadership roles.

Certainly good leaders benefit from having charisma. A leader who does not influence is a poor leader.

However, the power of personal influence is beneficial for all sorts of people in most interactive roles and situations. It is what helps determine which ideas get adopted and how effectively projects are implemented. Good charisma is critical anytime you’re applying for a job. Charismatic receive higher performance ratings. They tend to get more promotions.

Charisma is not monolithic.

There’s no one form of charisma that is good or bad per se. There’s only the right form of charisma for the particular situation. Western cultures often glamorises extroversion, leaving quieter people to sometimes feel defective. However introversion can actually be an asset for several forms of charisma.

Is charisma about being coldly manipulative?

It can be – but not Authentic Charisma which is based on kindness. The type of charisma people like the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela are known for.

Will you have to become a different person?

In some situations, the ones you choose – yes you will. It is largely a conscious behaviour to be used when needed. Something that will becomes a second nature. Something you switch on when needed

Charisma is helpful for managing problem-solving, facilitating and pioneering new ideas.

And charisma is very useful for all sorts of personal relationships including parenting.

When you see charisma in these terms and as a way of understanding and controlling your own strength of character – you might also see reasons in your own life for wanting to develop some charismatic power for yourself.

Key Personality Traits of Authentically Influential/Charismatic People:

Speaking with Authority

The ability to communicate your ideas effectively to others.

Strong Self-Esteem

Self-confidence, inner-calm, self-reliance, independence. This conveys confidence and authenticity.

Personal Warmth

Influential people are known for their ability to focus warmth the people they are with. A person who is concerned about the welfare and happiness of others is a respected person. It is inevitable that people who dislike others will be disliked; people sense disapproval

Projecting Silent Messages/Image

The way you carry yourself, physically, emotionally and intellectually.

Listening Attentively and Actively

Listening is a key to communicating and making others feel special in your presence.

High Energy

Persuasion is often about passion, enthusiasm, commitment, determination. High personal positive energy builds and maintains a positive energetic response in others. Positive energy makes others feel good


Motivating others to follow your lead and adopt your ideas.

Self-Discipline – Temperance

The person who lacks the necessary self-discipline to manage his or her personal habits is seldom attractive to others. .

Respecting Others

Respecting and honouring another person will affect the amount of tension and trust you develop.


When we smile at another person, it puts them at ease and raises their self-esteem. It also releases endorphins in your brain that gives you a feeling of well-being and contentment. Your smile will change the attitudes of those with whom you come into contact.


Keeping empathy and ego in balance.


Charismatic people tend to exhibit good “body skills” They also have the skill and grace in dealing with others

Sensory Awareness

Empathy and emotional intelligence (EQ). Charismatic people are aware of their own feelings and the feelings and moods of others. This makes them expressive and compelling in the way they communicate and engage with others.

Sincerity and Authenticity

Authentically charismatic people are genuine and honest and free from deceit and phoniness.

Frankness in Manner and Speech

Influential people present as being straightforward and sincere. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Getting the point across in the shortest time with well-chosen words

Personal Adaptability

Understanding contexts. Understanding how to treat others in differing situations. The ability to adapt to quickly to changing circumstances without losing composure.

Projecting Vision and an Aspiration for Success

Charismatic people are seen to have a vision of success and have the ability to make it happen. People are attracted to people they believe have or can succeed. This is the ability to influence others to follow, change their ideas or take action.

Speaking to Groups

Influential and charismatic people are confident in their ability to speak in front of groups

Innovativeness and Creativity

Everyone is born with a brain and imagination. Charismatic people can use theirs to develop their fullest capacity to create a great life for themselves.

Versatility and a Range of Ideas.

Popular and persuasive people are listened to versatile. They have at least a surface knowledge of many subjects. They are interested in other people’s ideas.

A Sense of Calmness

Calm is the foundation of perceptions of personal presence. Developing presence and poise should be everyone’s aim. An inner sense of calm, regardless of circumstance. Remaining calm under pressure, inspires others. Since human beings are such social creatures, is there anything worse than serious social anxiety, or social phobia?

A Confident Presence and Poise

A confident presence is that sense of energy and feeling emanating from a person who is happy within their own skin and confident in their belief that, generally, life doesn’t throw up anything that they can’t manage. Presence is also very interrelated to poise. The two are almost inseparable, hence developing poise is closely associated to developing presence.

Developing Authentic Charisma and the powers of positive influence are also beneficial in:

Greater stress relief – people with a more positive attitude and methods to better deal with their environment are better able to deal with stressful situations.

Control of thoughts – the power of thought creates our reality.  There is a lot to be gained when we control where we focus our thinking.

Clear judgement- when our state of mind is steady, the outcome is clear thinking.

Remaining calm under pressure – your own inner strength and your own that strength is infectious.  In developing presence and poise than knowing that in doing so you also lift others with you.

These notes are based on two interactive courses

Developing Effective Personal Influence

Developing Authentic Leadership Charisma

created an developed by Dr Brian Monger and Kylie Prince, which will become available in early 2013.  For further information please email: Kylie Prince (

Kylie Prince is a Consulting Industrial Psychologist with a specialist practise in Authentic Leadership

Dr. Brian Monger is a Management and Marketing Consultant with a specialist interest in Behaviour

Overall wellbeing- When we are poised things go smoothly. Even within our bodies, there is a degree of coherence and well being


3 thoughts on “Authentic Charisma and the Power of Positive Influence

  1. This is a great list of different definitions of charisma. I would add the word “passion”. When you are truly passionate, it creates an energy from the inside out and people who believe in the same things, see you as charismatic and follows you.The definition of charisma does not include a difference between good or bad causes. Mahatma Ghandi is one of the greatest positive charismatic leaders in history and Adolph Hitler a perfect example of a negative charismatic leader.

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