Researchers who created this 6-question test studied the impact of charisma on perceptions of persuasiveness from people’s recorded voices and found that the average person understands and can identify charisma when they hear it. Researchers also say that charisma is measurable, observable; and that measurements of charisma predict real world outcomes.
Rate yourself on the following six personality traits on a scale of 1 to 5.
Do you have a lot of charisma?
1. Influential. People often ask my opinion and I can guide them to see my perspective.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie may be the single most recognizable book on the topic of charisma. The point of the book is that if you can influence people to believe you, the world is yours for the taking and you can become wealthy as a result. If people want to know what you think, rate yourself high here.
2. Smile. I make good eye contact and smile, even at strangers.
There is no one who doesn’t deserve to see the best of you, and that includes your smile. Charismatic people give their smiles away freely and frequently to demonstrate positivity and openness to all.
3. Leadership. In a group where no one will take the lead, I often am the first one to step forward.
Score yourself high on this measurement of charisma if you are the one who steps forward when your all-talk, no-action partners aren’t doing what they need to do. Moving people toward a common goal is why charismatic leaders are desirable.
4. Relatable. I can put people at ease.
People feel comfortable around you, so they like being near you. You seem like the common woman or man, the average Jane or Joe who can understand and relate to anyone who is trying to connect with you. Even if you seem very different from another person, you can find something in common that unites you rather than divides you.
5. Respect. I can get along with anyone, even if we have different views or experiences.
Research on charisma theorizes that charismatic people come from backgrounds that resulted in “times of psychic, physical, economic, ethical, religious, [and] political distress.” By having experienced distress, charismatic people are able to respect the difficult places that others have come from. A history of adversity may be a possible condition from which charisma arises. The ability to empathize with others allows charismatic people to respect the stories of their fellow humans.
6. Presence. People generally gravitate toward me in a crowd.
Of course you can wear revealing, high-fashion, or vivid clothes and draw attention, but people with charisma know how to turn heads naturally, even fully clothed. If you tend to attract others, you have high charisma. Wallflowers who shy away from the crowd should rate very low here. This doesn’t mean you are the life of the party either, but you make people notice you by your posture, presence, and confidence.
Now, to measure your charisma, total your score for the above six questions. Take the total and divide by 6. According to this measurement, 3.7 is the average score, so higher than that is a higher than average charisma. The researchers in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology concluded that even though it can be hard to nail down, the misunderstood trait of charisma is in fact, measurable.
A wonderful conclusion from the research on measuring charisma is that we can practice these traits to increase our own charisma to help influence the way people to perceive us. Smiling more often, making meaningful eye contact, and volunteering to take the lead are just a few ways to increase your charisma measure.