What is Charisma and how can I help my child get it (and get some myself)?

kids/teens learning social skills and charismaParents often ask about how to help their children improve social skills.

Here are some ideas you can share with your child if he or she motivated to learn some new ways of thinking about connecting with others.

Charisma is a way of being that draws other people to you and makes them want to be around you. Think about the charismatic people in your life. mentors, friends, or public figures like athletes, actors, and politicians. People think that charisma is something you are born with or without, but this isn’t entirely true. While charisma comes more naturally to some people, it is a set of skills that can be practiced and learned. Here are some of the most important skills to practice yourself or help your child practice to become more charismatic.

kids cooperateAttention

People like being around other people that make them feel interesting, funny, and intelligent. Giving someone your undivided attention shows them that you find them likable and are interested in what they are saying. You can demonstrate attention by using active listening skills like turning your body toward to speaker, nodding, making verbal affirmations (“Yes” or “I see what you mean,” or just “Uh huh’), and maintaining eye contact. Eye contact can be tricky to master. Too much eye contact can feel creepy and aggressive, while too little comes off as uninterested. I recommend maintaining eye contact just long enough to allow you to note the eye color of your conversation partner. Then you can look away before returning to offer more eye contact.

Confidence

Remember that people are attracted to those that make them feel interesting The balancing act is to offer enough to the conversation to share your knowledge and experience, but listen with equal intensity so that your conversation partner has the same opportunity. It helps if you can steer the conversation toward an area you feel comfortable and confident enough to offer information, but restrain yourself from sounding like a know-it-all. Don’t be afraid to use humor. Effective humor makes everyone feel good and isn’t at the expense of anyone. Jokes about things that are core to people’s values or out of their control are off limits. This usually includes religion, politics, looks, abilities, family, and ethnicity. Continue reading “What is Charisma and how can I help my child get it (and get some myself)?”