Charisma is the ultimate influencing attribute – a valuable asset when it comes to training delivery. The charismatic facilitator or coach will capture the learner’s attention so they become open and curious about what they are going to learn. Charisma compels attention and infuses the learner with a sense of “I can do that”.
It is the alchemy that holds the potential to transform the learner’s beliefs, values, knowledge retention and capability. Learners are more engaged, more inspired and more motivated to follow suggestions and try new ways of doing things when suggestions are made by a charismatic facilitator.
Can you teach charisma?
Charisma is an authentic power that captivates the hearts and minds of others. Even though it's a desirable attribute and advantageous for today’s forward thinking training professional, after 30 years of studying charisma and endless research, I discovered that you can’t teach charisma from a behavioural perspective.
If any behaviour taught is out of alignment with who you are at your core, then you’ll become inauthentic and block your charisma from shining. When you are at your most charismatic you demonstrate a certain set of behaviours that are unique to you in that moment.
When you are being honest, open and truthful you engage your innate charisma. It is a state of being when every thought, word and action feels in flow with who you are and what you want. Charisma can be likened to the sporting equivalent of being 'in the zone'.
Charisma is innate within everyone. You simply need to be yourself and act and express who you are consistently. This might sound rather simplistic but this takes huge courage because you have spent your life up to this point learning how to protect yourself from being hurt.
If we already have charisma why can’t we express it?
When we are born, we express ourselves with complete honesty. Then, as we journey through life, we face hurt, disappointment, fear and other painful experiences. To cope with this we build protective walls around our emotions.
Cocooned in the safety of our self-imposed prison, we contain our energy, our potential and our awareness by switching into an operating mechanism of survival (Source: Bruce Lipton, The Biology of Belief) to protect ourselves from life's difficult challenges.
But in this protective, silo state, we block our essence, our innate charisma from shining through.
There are two pillars that create the foundation for your charisma to grow and flourish. These are authenticity and ensuring that at a cellular level you are operating in a growth rather than survival mode.
When developing any type of training content hold these two pillars in mind. Ensure that you are communicating from your heart using positive, uplifting and empowering language.
If you use video then forget autocue, it’s too scripted and formal. Just create some key bullet points then speak your message in your own words. If you are developing training content for or on behalf of an organisation then really connect with the organisation’s values. Imagine how you would think, act and feel if you were living these values.
Remember that you are communicating to people who have emotions, challenges, beliefs and needs. So before you start your training delivery, prepare your own emotional state to ensure you feel excited, open and curious about the work you are about to do. Then your energy will respond accordingly.
Often our charisma is hampered by a fear that we will make a mistake, which will result in you delivering content from a mindset of survival rather than growth.
How does charisma enhance the learner’s experience?
A facilitator or coach with authentic charisma will energise others to open their minds and engage with their emotions making learning a richer, deeper, multi-sensory experience.
But learners restrict their ability to develop if they keep up their protective walls, and nothing can penetrate walls that are cemented together with fear. Charisma flows when someone is operating from a growth mindset, and learners will sense whether the 'teacher' is operating from a mindset of survival or growth.
A facilitator or coach operating in survival mode will unconsciously evoke fear in others, but one in growth mode will encourage everyone to see the potential of each learning opportunity.
What are the pitfalls that block your charisma when delivering?
If you have been tasked with delivering content that has been designed by someone else then chances are that the style is not completely aligned with you. Whilst it’s sometimes tempting and time-saving to learn trainer guides by rote, you are likely to struggle under the strain of inauthenticity and your charisma will be stifled.
In these situations, where possible, use your own examples and choice of words and deliver the content in a way that feels resonant with who you are. The way someone else does something, even though they may be a model of excellence, does not mean if you imitate their way, you’ll get the same result. Whatever your subject, bring your own unique perspective to it.
If you're not passionate and rebelliously obsessive about your training and coaching how can you expect to excite interest from others?
Can you feel bored with your content and still be charismatic?
If you are delivering content that you disagree with or find boring and dull then know that when it comes to charisma you can’t fake it. Your own thoughts and perception of the content will be projected into your training course. So if you are bored, then your delegates will be too.
Conversely, when you feel excited and passionate so will your delegates. When you are delivering content that you believe in and you're being authentic, then you, and your charisma, will show.
The trainers, coaches or facilitators who are authentic and believe in themselves and the potential of their delegates will be at their most charismatic. Their authenticity ignites their energy which in turn ignites the energy in others.
In this way learners will be more likely to remember, retain and take action to stretch themselves and improve who they are and what they do.
How charismatic are you as a trainer, a facilitator or coach? Free charisma perception tool: http://charismaconnection.com/programme/free-mini-profile/
About Nikki Owen
Nikki Owen is an international expert, best-selling author and speaker on charismatic leadership. When she was 18 she experienced the charisma of a leader who transformed her life against the odds. This event compelled her to dedicate over 30 years to researching and studying charisma. She has now taught thousands of business leaders her unique approach.