Breaking news! I did not know this skill could be learned!
This week I pause in my articles about Localization, Globalization, and everything related to the Translation industry. And I guess that’s fine; as in my blog, I like also to explore the areas of management and leadership.
Lately I’ve been focusing my blogging on topics related to translation industry as that’s a field I really enjoy working, however, today I want to cover an area that I also find quite fascinating. I want to write about a leadership skill as powerful as unknown; this skill is like a superpower as it gives the ones who own it the capability to become the person that everyone loves to be around. This superpower means that when you enter a room people notice your presence and they want to hear what you have to say. This superpower means that when you are driving a project your colleagues want to be in your team. It’s a cool superpower it makes to look the ones who own it, smarter, successful even sexier!
Any guess which this superpower is …?
It’s CHARISMA, and actually, it’s not a super-power, it’s a skill!!!! and similar to other skills, it means charisma can be learned! and that, …. It was breaking news for me!
Most part of my life I did not know that charisma could be learned! I thought that it was something that either you have it when you were born or not. I thought it was a gift you got in the cradle. When I see individuals such as Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson … I tended to believe they had a natural gift. Something similar to those high performing athletes… that it’s true they train really hard, but it’s also true that their DNA and their genetics are a few steps ahead of the rest of the mortals …. Because it does not matter how many hours I might train my whole life, I would never win a race to Usain Bolt :) hopefully, for us, the effort needed to polish the skills to be a charismatic person is lower than the effort to defeat Usain in a 100m race.
Charisma can be learned, and if you don’t agree, I would suggest that we review Steve Jobs presentations, early in his career and later presenting the iPhone (btw, in my opinion, that’s the best presentation I’ve seen of a product in my whole life, by far)
First time I learned about the power of charisma, it was in a training from Florian Müeck 2 years ago. Florian runs an excellent 2 days training focus on the idea of charisma and how to boost your charisma. Florian put a seed on my brain (thank you, Flo!), and I’ve been working in the last 2 years to apply his techniques and I’ve been also actively learning and practicing these techniques everytime I had an opportunity, either in Toastmasters sessions or contests, or at work or at a personal event. Also, I’ve been reading lately about charisma. I finished last week a book that I want to leave my summary and impressions below.
The book is: The Charisma Myth
And as the sub-title said it covers the idea of how can anyone can master the art of personal magnetism; which it goes again to the root concept of charisma, it’s not a superpower, it’s a skill and it can be learned.
How? Keep reading …
In the book, some ideas are explored and elaborated. Charisma focuses on 3 main pillars
Presence, power, and warmth.
- Presence: When we are not present in the conversation, it will show and other people will pick up on it. Few behaviors I find more annoying than having lunch with someone and the other person continuously checking her/his smartphone. Oh boy!, I hate that!! Clearly, it sends a message that moment is not important for them. Not being in the moment, in my opinion, is a presence charisma drainer. In the book, there are multiple exercises (see below) to help us to improve into these 3 core areas required to boost our charisma. Exercises to learn how to increase our presence by focusing on something such as our toes or our breath. That will bring us more into the moment and make us more present. And when we are fully present; we become more impactful more memorable, and come across as more grounded
- Power: Being powerful means being seen as being able to effect the world around us, whether it be of influence or power over others. One key component of power charisma is in the body language. The book will also help us to practice body language techniques such as be “THE BIG GORILLA”
- Warmth: Goodwill towards others. Warmth tells us whether or not people will want to use whatever power they have in our favor. Being seen as warm means being perceived as any of the following: benevolent, altruistic, caring, willing to impact our world in a positive way. And again there are ways to practice these attributes.
When I read a good book I like preparing a deep summary that I can go back and check my notes when needed. For this specific book I believe I’ll go often to review my notes, maybe if I learn this book and techniques by hard I can close my charismatic gap with George Clooney, what else? 😃
Have a splendid week!
Please check out my reference summary material in case you are interested in learning more about Charisma!