I believe clients want their lawyers to have charisma.
That thought scares many lawyers, especially those who are introverted. I think those intimidated by the idea have a mistaken notion of what Charisma actually is. It is not necessarily having the gift of gab. It is more focused on exuding confidence, being open and listening and paying attention to others (clients and potential clients).
I have studied charisma over many years and wrote about it in 2012: Client Development Question: What is Charisma? I hope you will take a moment and read that blog post again. In this post, I want to provide further support for my feeling that you can develop charisma by focusing on a few important things.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote about charisma in his book: The Tipping Point. He noted that charisma can be measured and referred to the Affective Communications Test created by Howard Friedman, a psychologist at the University of California at Riverside. Friedman reports that the test identifies those who:
are generally popular (even if they are shy) and influential, because of their ability to transmit emotions through nonverbal cues.
I was intrigued by the studies done on charisma and Dr. Friedman’s test, so I did more research. I found an article he had contributed to on Oprah’s website: How Charismatic Are You? Take the quiz to determine where you fall on the charisma scale.
In my research I found a 2012 Forbes article: 5 Qualities of Charismatic People. How Many Do You Have? I thought the 5 qualities were good ones:
- Be Self Confident
- Tell Great Stories
- Body Speak-Be open and approachable. Gracious and graceful.
- Make The Conversation About The Other Person
- Be A Good listener