Subscribe to RSS Feed

‘I am not naturally magnetic’: can you learn how to be charismatic?

Jan 2nd, 2017 by

From politics to business, charisma is the 21st-century must-have. But what is it – and can you really turn a shy type into a George Clooney?

It is a Tuesday afternoon and I am sitting in the hairdressers, having both my usuals: a short back and sides and a mild attack of awkwardness. Apart from the snip of scissors, a silence has descended. It’s not the barber’s fault; he’s covered all the regular bases (my hair, my weekend plans, where I’m going on holiday). Now the conversational onus is on me. I’ve long used up my quota of “Really?” and the sanctuary of the hairdryer is some way off.

Charisma: it is not something I have ever been accused of having. But how much does a person need? This ethereal quality (or lack of it) has been credited both with the rise of Donald Trump and the fall of Ed Miliband. For better or worse, it is the reason Boris Johnson is foreign secretary and Tim Farron is still “Who?” When, in those distant summer months, Michael Gove announced he was running for the Conservative leadership, he brought it up in his first speech: “Whatever charisma is, I don’t have it.” And it was true: his political career soon came to a grinding halt.

Continue reading…

Be Sociable, Share!