The Charisma Myth – by Olivia Fox Cabane

The Charisma Myth - by Olivia Fox Cabane
The Charisma Myth – by Olivia Fox Cabane

ISBN: 1591845947 READ: November 2015

Really nails home that Charisma is a teachable, learn-able skill. You are guided with detailed instructions on how to become the next Steve Jobs, or at least close to it. I have more highlights in this book than any other because every page feels like a goldmine of information.


Charisma is a skill that you can learn and practice

Marilyn Monroe could turn her charisma on and off just by switching her body language.

The equation that produces charisma is actually fairly simple. All you have to do is give the impression that you possess both high power and high warmth, since charismatic behaviors project a combination of these two qualities. The final part of the equation is presence.

Bill Clinton is present. You feel that hes completely here with you, in this moment.

When we are not fully present in an interaction, people WILL notice.
Aim to bring your self back to the present moment as often as you can by focusing on your breath or your toes for just a second, and then get back to focusing on the other person.

It is possible to be a charismatic introvert.

3 tips to gain instant charisma
– lower the intonation of your voice at the end of your sentences.
– reduce how quickly and how often you nod.
– pause for two full seconds before you speak.

Throughout our interactions, we instinctively look for clues with which to evaluate warmth or power, and then we adjust our assumptions accordingly. Expensive clothing leads us to assume wealth, friendly body language leads us to assume good intentions, a confident posture leads us to assume the person has something to be confident about. in essence, people will tend to accept whatever you project.

Presence, Power and Warmth are the most effective frameworks for presence.

For charisma, you body language matters far more than your words do.
Charismatic behaviors must originate in your mind. Whatever your mind believes, your body will manifest.

Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said: “To know others is knowledge. To know oneself is wisdom”

Anxiety is a serious drawback to charisma.

To counteract charisma impairing physical discomfort:
– Prevent
– Recognize
– Remedy or Explain

The very act of comparing and evaluating hinders our ability to be fully present.

Few things impact peoples performance more than how they feel about themselves. Self-doubt, simply put, is lack of confidence in our own ability to achieve something. With greater responsibility comes greater internal doubt as the cost of failure gets higher and higher.
Sometimes, under the effect of stress, the mind thinks we/re in a fight-or-flight situation, declares a state of emergency, and shuts down what is deems to be superfluous functions. Unfortunately, that means the body is reducing our cognitive abilities just when we need them most. though it may be hard to remember this in the midst of an anxiety attack, rest assured that this reaction is an entirely normal, natural one that was intended for your well being.

Handling difficult experiences is a 3 step process
– destigmatize discomfort, neutralize negatives, rewrite reality.

To destigmatize, remind yourself that this internal discomfort, whatever it might be, is a normal part of the human experience and a by-product of one of our brains survival mechanisms.
When your brain spins negative scenarios, remind yourself that you may not be getting an accurate perception of reality.

Churchill said ” Failure is seldom fatal, and just realizing that the worst-case scenario is survivable can bolster your confidence”.

Deciding to change beliefs is a far more effecting and healthier solution than attempting to repress or ignore emotions.

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

1. Take a deep breath and shake your body out to reduce physical discomfort.
2. Dedramatize
3. Destigmatize – normal for humans.
4. Neutralize – thoughts are not reality
5. Consider alternate realities
6. Visualize a transfer of responsibility.

People accurately predict the outcome of negotiations fairly early on using one simple clue: whoever has less endurance for silence loses.

Just by using the right mental images, your subconscious mind will send a remarkable chain reaction of confidence signals cascading through your body. “This too shall pass”

Its suggested that a 20 second hug is enough to send oxytocin coursing through your veins, and that your can achieve the same effect just by imagining the hug.

Visualization is a powerful tool. If you gain nothing else form this book this one technique will make a critical difference to your charisma.

Human beings are instinctively wired for hedonic adaptation: the tendency to take our blessings for granted. BE GRATEFUL.

Self-confidence: our belief in our ability to do or learn how to do something.
Self-esteem: how much be approve or value ourselves
Self-compassion: how much warmth we can have for ourselves.

People who assumed a strong, confident physical posture and then spoke with a strong voice and imposing hand gestures actually produced a biochemical reaction that made them feel and seem more confident and powerful.

Key moments: Plan a warm-up period that allows your to gradually ramp up to the level you want.

Behavioral science researchers have come to the conclusion that willpower is a bit like a muscle that fatigues depending on how much we use it.

4 Kinds of Charisma:
– focus – cultivate you ability to be present
– visionary – get yourself into a sate of complete conviction, shedding any doubt.
– kindness – connect with people and make them feel welcomes, cherished and accepted.
– authority – take up space, speak less and slow.

The Golden Rule: People like people who are like them. Use this for first impressions.

In Roman times, the handshake was in fact an arm clasp. Each man would clasp just below the elbow of the other. This gesture afforded a better opportunity to feel for daggers hidden in sleeves. Medieval knights took precautions a step further by adding a shake to the clasp to dislodge and hidden weapons and thus the handshake was born.

Break the ice questions
– Whats the story behind it?
– Where are your from?
– What was it like growing up there?
– What brought your here tonight?
– How are you connection to the event?

Talk to a man about himself, and he will listen for hours.

What impacts people isn’t the words or content used, Rather they remember how it FELT to be speaking to you.

3 keys to communicating presence,
– attentive listening
– refraining from interrupting,
– deliberate pausing.

Dale Carnegie – “You can make more friends in two months by becoming truly interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

– Speak slowly
– pause
– drop intonation
– check your breathing

Conscious Mirroring: The tendency to mimic the body language of others is technically call limbic resonance. Mirror people to make them feel more comfortable.

Our physiology affect our psychology.

Humans feel “ownership” of the space around us.

Negotiators choose their seats around a table so carefully; they know their seating choice can influence the outcome of the entire negotiation. If you want someone to feel comfortable, avoid seating them with their back to an open space. particularly if other are moving behind them.

Roaming eyes are not charismatic. To be focused, look at the different colours you see in their eyes, the different shades playing around their pupils.

The next time you’re out in a crowded environment, practice getting people to move aside for you.

3 issues against poise.
– excessive or rapid nodding
– excessive verbal reassurance: “uh huh yep uh huh yep”
– restlessness or fidgeting

Asking for someone’s opinion is a better strategy than asking for their advise, because giving advice feels like more effort, as they have to tailor a recommendation to your situation, whereas which an opinion, they can just spout whatever is on their mind.
When you show people how they’ve impacted you, they feel that they’ve in a sense made you. This ownership gives them a vested interest in you.

Before delivering bad news, think about the setting, remembering that people will transfer their feelings for the environment to the experience itself. Use warmth when giving bad news.

4 steps for criticism
– think about your timing and the location
– get into the mindset of compassion
– decide exactly what points you want to make: be specific
– depersonalize, critique the behaviour not the person.

Humans remember “firsts” and “lasts”

Being a charismatic communicator means that others feel good about themselves when they are with you. It means that other look forward to being with you because they like themselves better as a result of being around you.

Phone tip: Do not answer the phone in a warm or friendly manner. Instead, answer crisply and professionally. Then, only after you hear who is calling, let warmth or even enthusiasm pour fourth in your voice.

Giving people a sense of ownership for your success is a great way to prevent resentment and engender good feelings, such as pride and loyalty, instead.

Allow yourself to be human. This mean both accepting humanity and showing your humanity. Which mean both accepting vulnerability and showing vulnerability.

Charisma is: behaviours that project presence, power and warmth.


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