Let’s try an exercise. Take a minute to think about the most charismatic person you know. What about their personality drew you to think of them just now?

There are certain qualities that charismatic people share that naturally draw people to them. For some, it’s their ability to attract, charm, and influence the people around them. For others, it’s their engaging personality, unwavering commitment to changing lives, or even simply the courage of their convictions. As long as they aren’t using the power that draws people to them for nefarious or manipulative purposes, having charisma can be a very positive and attractive quality.

Now, there are people that say charisma is either something you have or you don’t, but I disagree. I believe that as with any self-development project, over time you can develop yourself to be more charismatic.

It starts with these four basic things:

1. Being open. Charismatic people have open, engaging personalities. They aren’t afraid to be the center of attention or tell a story or anecdote. As a former quiet girl, this is something that I constantly have to work at. I have a natural tendency to sit back and listen, rather than actively participate in conversations. In order to be perceived as more charismatic, I have to push myself a little outside my comfort zone so I can open up to people – and get them to open up to me.

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2. Being kind. I find kindness to be one of the most important qualities a person can have. Charismatic people tend to be kind and compassionate, which is one of the reasons people are drawn to them. Even the smallest of kind gestures help make a person feel important and respected. Just remember that kindness isn’t something you can force: people can smell insincere flattery or fake-nice from a mile away, and it’s very off-putting.

3. Being present. In order to be a more engaging and charismatic person, you must remind yourself to be present in the given moment. To do this, you must practice your active listening skills, reading the room to drive the conversation and tell more compelling and engaging stories.

4. Being genuine. Like I said before, this isn’t something you can fake or force. You have to look deep within yourself to be able to manifest all of these qualities if you truly want to be more charismatic. It has to come from a real, authentic place within you.

If you concentrate on these four things, you’re sure to find yourself to be more charismatic in no time. Keep in mind that it’s a process, though. You won’t just wake up someday with charismatic qualities. You have to work at finding them within yourself and bringing them to life each day.

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“The Beatles didn’t just wake up one day with incredible talent and charisma. They paid their dues in the early sixties…” –Natalee Desotell, The Nature of Success: Thoughts on Malcom Gladwell’s “Outliers”