How Charismatic Are You? Just 6 Questions Can Tell You

Charisma comes down to two things.

IQ can only get you so far. And in today’s world where social media rules the day, charisma may be even more important than in the past. But what is it? Charisma is usually defined as a certain magnetism, a joie de vivre, or a kind of electricity that emanates from a person naturally. It’s not something we usually try to define. It’s more intuitive.

Being around such a person just feels good. They leave you wanting more. The charismatic may have a higher level of emotional intelligence or EQ. Studies have shown those with a higher EQ are happier, healthier, earn more, and get more dates.

In a previous study, investigators at the University of Queensland in Australia, found that mental quickness had something to do with charisma. It wasn’t whether one could correctly answer a difficult question, but how quickly they responded and perhaps, how well they fulfilled other’s expectations. One’s ability to consider a number of responses and pick the right one in a short period of time, meant possessing a higher level or charm, these researchers found.

Tons of articles have been written on how to increase your charisma. Smiling, using open body language, expressing yourself in words people can relate to, reading others emotions, being authentic in your own, and mirroring another’s body posture—sitting in the same position as they do and changing position to match theirs a minute or two after they do, are just some of the strategies you can employ to up your charm quotient.

Approachability and good body language lend a lot to charisma. Credit: Getty Images.

We don’t often think a personality trait such as charisma can be measured. Scientists at the University of Toronto have shown otherwise. Just like any skill, charm comes more naturally to some. But the average person finds it difficult to put their finger on it or measure it. Konstantin O. Tskhay and colleagues conducted a series of studies and  developed a way to objectively measure charisma. Their findings were published in the Journal of Social Psychology.

First, they outlined what traits all charismatic people share. While most studies looked at several different factors, Tskhay and colleagues boiled it down to just two. The first was influence, the ability to lead others and persuade them. This also lends to presence, the ability to captivate others while speaking. The second quality was affability. A charismatic person is warm, friendly, approachable, and puts others at ease.

While other studies evaluated charismatic leaders, this one focused on average people within the general population. Assessing personality has been a difficult thing to do, scientifically. Yet here, researchers found that others perceptions of a person’s charisma lined up with their own findings, supporting them.

Want to see how charismatic you are? Take what researchers call the General Charisma Inventory. On these 6 questions, rate yourself on a scale from 1-5 for each, with 5 being the highest and 1 being the lowest.

Ask yourself:

Am I someone who…

 1) …has a presence in a room? (1-5)
2)  …has the ability to influence people? (1-5)
3) …knows how to lead a group? (1-5)
4) …makes people feel comfortable? (1-5)
 5) …smiles at people often? (1-5)    
6) …can get along with anyone? (1-5)

Add up your score. Then divide by 6. If you have a 3.7 or higher, you’re more charismatic than the average person. Note that the first half of these questions have to do with influence, while the second half are about affability.

To further deconstruct charisma, click here:

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

People who engage in fat-shaming tend to score high in this personality trait

A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.

Mind & Brain
  • The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
  • The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
  • People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Keep reading Show less

4 anti-scientific beliefs and their damaging consequences

The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.

Moon Landing Apollo
  • Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
  • Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
  • All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
Keep reading Show less

Reigning in brutality - how one man's outrage led to the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. Painting by Adolphe Yvon. 1861.
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
  • Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
  • Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Keep reading Show less