Charismatic leadership can be learned, measured: Study

Washington, Feb 9 (ANI): Can a person's charisma be measured and learned? Yes, says a University of Tennessee study.

Much has been written in business management textbooks and self-help guides about the role that personal charisma plays in leadership.

However, according to the new study co-authored by Kenneth Levine, a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, until recently no one was able to describe and measure charisma in a systematic way.

Levine said the large amount of academic literature on charismatic leadership never defined what it means to actually communicate charismatically.

"There's this illusion that we know what charismatic communication means, but in the research I reviewed, no one had ever really looked at that," he said.

Levine and his co-authors surveyed university students and asked them to define charisma and pinpoint the behaviors of people they thought were charismatic.

"Everyone has a leadership capacity in something. But we found that if you want people to perceive you as charismatic, you need to display attributes such as empathy, good listening skills, eye contact, enthusiasm, self-confidence and skillful speaking," he said.

Those are the attributes social scientists can measure to more fully understand charismatic communication.

Levine said the most surprising result was that the students felt that charisma was not just something you are born with, but something you can learn.

"We asked the question 'What is charisma?' and their answers tended to start with 'the ability to...' Well, abilities are believed to be acquired attributes rather than inbred traits, so a lot of people believe that charisma can be learned," he added. (ANI)

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