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Scientists say you can use this simple 6-step test to assess just how charismatic you are at work

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  • A report from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests there's a simple, scientifically accurate way to measure your charisma.
  • The researchers say the two components of charisma are influence and affability.
  • This paper is one of the first to focus on charisma in the general population — not just leaders.
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I have a select few friends I would call genuinely charismatic — the rest are kind, and/or funny, and/or outgoing, but aren't quite there yet.
The thing is, I can't tell you exactly how I made that distinction. It's more of an intuitive judgment.
But a team of researchers at the University of Toronto, led by Konstantin O. Tskhay (now the director of Organizational Effectiveness for the higher education platform Top Hat), have taken aim at the idea that the average person can't quantify charisma; and through a series of studies, they've made it surprisingly easy to do just that.
According to their paper, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and highlighted in The Wall Street Journal, your responses to six prompts can reveal just how charismatic you are. The prompts are below; rate yourself on a scale of one to five on each behavior.
I am someone who …
  1. Has a presence in a room
  2. Has the ability to influence people
  3. Knows how to lead a group
  4. Makes people feel comfortable
  5. Smiles at people often
  6. Can get along with anyone
Now divide your total score by six to get your average charisma score. The average person in the study had a score of 3.7.
These prompts were developed through multiple studies the researchers conducted, with a total of nearly 1,000 participants.
The researchers asked participants to rate themselves on a series of qualities that described charismatic people and determined that charisma comes down to two factors: influence — i.e. leadership ability and strength of presence — and affability — or being pleasant and approachable. (In the prompts above, the first half correspond to influence and the second half correspond to affability).
One of the most intriguing findings from the paper is that people's ratings of their own influence and affability generally line up with other people's perceptions. That's not always true when it comes to assessing personality and behavior.
What's more, charisma doesn't just exist in a vacuum — according to the studies, it has important implications for social relationships. For example, in a getting-to-know-you exercise, participants who were rated higher in affability were also perceived as more likable. (Influence didn't seem to matter for likability.)
The University of Toronto researchers aren't the first to quantify charisma. Business Insider has written before about the work of John Antonakis and colleagues, for example, who have taught groups of managers to be more charismatic at work. What differentiates the current research is that it looks at charisma in the general population — most other studies have focused on charisma in leaders. This research also boils down charisma to a smaller set of observable qualities than many other studies have.
Personality assessments, like the charisma test, can be a good way to better understand yourself and your behavior. But there are also a number of other personality assessments that you can use to learn more about yourself.
The International Personality Tool, for example, uses a five-point scale that goes from "very inaccurate" to "very accurate." Test takers can select statements like "Worry about things" or "Love large parties" to describe themselves. The long version of this test has hundreds of questions and takes about 30-40 minutes to complete.  However, if you're short on time, there's a shorter version of this quiz available. The findings will offer a complex report of your personality. Other common tests assess everything from how lonely you are to your leadership skills.
As with most personality assessments, you shouldn't panic if you score lower on charisma than you'd like. There are plenty of ways to become more charismatic, from practicing reading other people's emotions to using words people can relate to.
SEE ALSO: There's an 'invisible' trait that makes leaders more effective — here's how to develop it
SEE ALSO: 8 tips to nailing a video job interview in the age of coronavirus
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NOW WATCH: 7 proven strategies to become more charismatic


* This article was originally published here

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