Extended Definition of Charisma

Topics: Charisma, Bill Clinton, Sentence Pages: 3 (685 words) Published: January 20, 2015
Extended Definition of Charisma
The Oxford Dictionary defines charisma as “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others”. In my opinion, this definition excludes aspects that would qualify a person who has charisma. Charisma is generally linked to figures of authority or leadership figures that have a magnetic presence and an effect on others. Therefore, the definition must replace the clause “compelling attractiveness” with “commanding confidence”, add “or admiration” after “devotion”, and omit the word “can” and replace “inspire” to “inspires”. The phrase “compelling attractiveness” must be substituted for the phrase “commanding confidence” in the definition of charisma because it inaccurately describes a person who is charismatic. “Compelling attractiveness” conveys a positive connotation and does not express power or authority, traits associated with someone who is charismatic. For example, Adolf Hitler attracted his supporters through his certainty and lack of debate. He connected with his audiences through his dominant presence and style of expressing his beliefs, convincing and almost hypnotizing them to believe in him due to his poise. On the other hand, a student who raises his or her in class to answer a question would not be considered charismatic. The student simply had the knowledge to answer the question with certainty, allowing the student to appear confident. The student is not charismatic because he or she did not display leadership or inspire others through his or her ability to answer the question without doubt. Replacing “compelling attractiveness” with “commanding confidence” in the Oxford definition of charisma would more accurately depict a person with charisma. In the definition of charisma, the word “devotion” strictly suggests that people become dedicated to those who are charismatic as opposed to simply admiring them, therefore needing the inclusion of “or admiration” after “devotion”. Charismatic figures...
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