Can we teach charisma?
Teaching tomorrow's adults how to relate to others must go beyond basic courtesy and manners. 'Soft skills' education attempts to addresses many of these but never really tackle the quality called charisma.
We hear of it in many successful people who are doing great things using this attribute but if we are born with or without it, can we ever close the gap?
I'm really interested in what people think.
By definition charisma is :
A rare personal quality attributed to leaders who arouse fervent popular devotion and enthusiasm
A personal quality or power of an individual making them capable of influencing or inspiring large numbers of people
A quality inherent in a thing which inspires great enthusiasm
If charisma is directly linked to leadership then I believe our young people should be made aware so that their leadership skills best benefit themselves and their community. Can children grow to be leaders (on any level) without charisma? If not, is it teachable? Are educators missing the fundamental element of recognizing the power an individual can have to change things for the better when they find or seek opportunities to do so. To be sure what I'm not saying is extroverts reign in the charisma stakes. I value the quiet, contemplative students as much as the verbal and gregarious ones. Is charisma so rare and elusive (a limited amount so only a few people in every hundred can be charismatic) We just dare not talk about it until someone already exudes the quality? If we explored this with children would more of them grow up to affect greater positive influence on the world?
Closing Statement from Stuart Woods
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this conversation. For young as well as established and experienced leaders I find the elements of personal power fascinating. In order to broaden their positive influence and make change possible I wonder how much we allow students to pursue an understanding of their personality. This is what essentially drove me to ask this question, many responses alluded to a limited number of charismatic people but I do believe children have the ability to exhibit charisma in varying degrees. I don't think it's a question of some have it and some don't.
In summing up I do think we should empower ALL personality types to find their inner magnetism, inspiration and passion which can be translated through their interactions with others to build a ethos in schools where all can influence others to achieve.