Posts in CnxCounselor
10. How to Score a Charisma K.O.

The Charisma Chronicles: episode #10 of 10

At a certain level having Charisma seems like an unfair advantage.

It’s like you are a boxer weighing 30 lbs more than the other guy the night of the bout.

It’s more powerful than Charm. You can be charming and people will find you likable, but they will not necessarily go out of their way for you.

It’s more effectual than Innovation. How many great innovations never saw the light of day because the inventor or company couldn’t figure out how to market it properly?

It’s more versatile than being Physically attractive or Socially connected. Both of these have their limitations and if the person in question is not attracted to you or doesn’t care about your social circles you are stuck.

Part of the Power of Charisma comes from the fact that it works with anyone, anytime, anywhere. Here is where it can be easy for our thinking to go astray.

Ding, ding!

Round 1

Because we see the tremendous power and versatility of Charisma in a certain person, we assume that if we only had the same attributes and did the same things as that person we would also be powerfully charismatic.

So what do we do? We start to dissect the things they do. We start to copy them. We start to match them them move for move and then . . . we fail. It doesn’t work.

Just before the bell, we are sent reeling to the mat. Knock down #1.

The ref begins the count, “1, 2, 3 . . .”

We slap the mat in frustration, jump up and storm back to our corner.

Round 2

Between rounds we despair that our initial strategy didn’t work.

Maybe we didn’t try hard enough? Maybe we picked the wrong person?

Or maybe, and this is where a lot of people end up, Charisma is more an inborn talent that you either have or your don’t. Or at least it is easier for some people to naturally gain.

Because we don’t think we can win anymore, we just go through the motions trying not to lose too badly.

Again, just before the bell, we suffer Knock down #2.

Through the fog you hear the count, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5 . . .”

On wobbly knees we make it back to our feet and stumble back to our corner.

Round 3

That last knock down seemed to have knocked something loose in our understanding - in a good way.

We begin to realize that charisma is created by an invisible, intangible force between people. As a result, each match, each round, indeed each moment is unique and may require different reactions and skills. We start to see that charisma is not about entertaining the crowd with the moves we want to showcase, but more about sensing where the audience wants to be emotionally and taking them there.

Charisma is the ability to sense, and ultimately deliver, exactly what is most needed from an emotional perspective in a given moment.

Now our emotional footwork starts to flow, our conversation and actions start to really connect, and we are leading others with skill and ease. Once we realize what the need is and unleash the right combination to take the person there, BOOM!

We score a thundering Charisma K.O.!


I’ve really enjoyed your company on this journey of the Charisma Chronicles. I hope you left with some good memories and some insights and tools you can leverage to enhance your Charisma.

If you’d like to continue the conversation, email me at or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Finally, please send any Charisma success stories my way. I love learning from others.

Take care and thanks for joining me!

Charisma ebook COVER.jpg

If you are curious about the other principles that underlie the elusive trait known as charisma, I have just released my first book, Unlock Your Charisma.

Available on Kindle and Apple Books, get the insights you need to become your most charismatic self.

9. What is the #1 Thing Stopping Me from having More Charisma?

The Charisma Chronicles: episode #9 of 10

I must really apologize. That headline is so misleading.

Did you come here thinking I was going to tell you just one thing to stop doing?

Did you think that by stopping doing that one thing it would unleash your charisma and overwhelm your audiences like the Roman Army overwhelming its opposing armies in Gladiator?

At my signal, unleash hell.


Allow me to explain.

It would be disingenuous of me to advise you and say something like, “stop being so guarded” and expect you to see any results. Let me pick another one, “stop getting distracted when people are talking to you.” There isn’t one behavior that is blocking you and there isn’t one behavior that will generate charisma for you.

So why did I write that cruelly deceptive headline and risk losing all the trust we’ve built up to date? Well, there is one thing you should definitely stop doing if you want to develop more charisma. The twist is it more about how you think about learning charisma. It’s not about how you implement it.

The #1 thing stopping you from having more charisma is following bad advice on charisma. This bad advice comes in two flavors.

Flavor 1: The Soul-less clone approach

Most books and article about charisma exhort you to develop certain traits or perform certain charisma-enhancing behaviors. The problem with this approach is without understanding the underlying mechanism that generates charisma, this is really hit-or-miss.

Copying someone who has an intangible quality like charisma will not make you more charismatic. It will just make you a cheap, soul-less copy. Let’s take George Clooney for example. And me.

Let’s say I drink the same coffee as George. I dress like him. I change my speech to sound and talk like him. I emulate his smile, his walk, and his hair. Well, perhaps a wig since I’m bald, but I digress.

Ask yourself, if I make 1000 modifications to look and behave like George Clooney will I suddenly possess his charm and charisma? Will Stacy Keibler or Amal Alamuddin be impressed by my Clooney-ness?

Of course not! You know this.

You cannot replicate intangible qualities using tangible behavior.

It doesn’t work.

So stop falling like Charlie Brown for those Top 10 lists of things to start doing to have more Charisma.

Flavor 2: The too-specific success story

I love a good underdog or success story just as much as the next guy, but hearing about how someone else developed and deployed charisma is of limited value to me unless that story reveals the deep, underlying principles of charisma. In most stories you hear a lot about strategies and tactics. The problem with that is strategies and tactics only work when used in the right scenarios. Richard Branson’s scenario is not my scenario. We are vastly different in terms of geographical setting, background, ability, access to resources, luck, moment in time you name it. So unless his story contains the universal principles that I can try to apply to my own situation, the primary value of hearing his story is inspiration. I’m not going to be able to start an airline, a record company, etc. using his formula for success. That’s just silly.

So now that you’ve stopped doing things that won’t help, what should you do instead?

Do whatever it takes to generate more charisma as defined below:

Charisma is the ability to sense, and ultimately deliver, exactly what is most needed from an emotional perspective in a given moment.

Anything you do to get you closer to being able to do the above will help you move the charisma needle.

Everything else may help nominally, but is mostly a waste of time because you are not targeting the actual charisma-generating mechanism, which is based on emotional connection and in a way, leadership.

If you do this, you will be well on your way! I hope to cross paths with you someday because I love a charismatic person.



If you are curious about the other principles that underlie the elusive trait known as charisma, I have just released my first book, Unlock Your Charisma.

Available on Kindle and Apple Books, get the insights you need to become your most charismatic self.

8. How Will I Know if My Charisma is Working?

The Charisma Chronicles: episode #8 of 10

Okay, you’ve been learning about Charisma for 7 episodes so far. You’re starting to grasp the key concepts and maybe you are even starting to take some of what you learned and apply it to new or existing relationships.

First of all, let me say, “Bravo!” It takes a lot of courage to try something new and risk failing or looking foolish. I admire that immensely.

Pat on the back: DONE!

Now let’s get back to work.

So let’s say you are making a shift to get into the right state of being, which is a relaxed one. You are sensing what is needed most emotionally and you are delivering it to the person. Or at least you think you are doing all these things.

You may be wondering at some point, “How will I know if it is working?”

Great question!

Allow me to share a piece of Charisma Technology with you.

The Charisma Barometer (a.k.a. the 3 L’s)

There are three telltale signs that you are making an emotional connection with someone and moving them emotionally to a good place..

  1. The Lean

    When you are deeply connecting to someone, you’ll notice an almost imperceptible movement of their body towards yours. Not a Leaning Tower of Pisa type of lean. It’s more subtle, but if you look for it, you will notice it. They will not necessarily invade your socially acceptable personal space, but they will move closer to you than where they were before. This sort of shift, as well as other body language “tells” speak volumes and way more than words.

  2. The Laugh

    This need not always be a literal laugh. Think of it as a lightening of the soul, playfulness, or an increase in joy. Note this can happen even while dealing with totally serious and grave matters and connecting and staying serious. There is a feeling of unburdening because you are now sharing a burden together. And of course, a literal laugh during a more light-hearted interaction is always a good sign.

  3. The Look

    A person’s lips can lie, but it is a lot harder for their eyes. Where a person’s eyes are focused show where they are focused. If they are looking at you, this shows engagement and focus on you and the connection you are developing. If they are looking somewhere else or seem to be lost in their own thoughts, you are not connected or are losing them. Now here’s something amazing I just noticed the other day! When you are having a great interaction and your charisma is strong, when you part the other person will sort of slightly look up, then give a little head bob (like after you just had a great meal or dessert). This is a telltale sign that you just had a really great interaction. They are thinking something to the effect of, “WOW, that was a surprisingly great interaction. Who is that person? And why can’t more people be like that?”

The best thing about charisma is the effect lasts way beyond the moment it was generated.

You will remain in their thoughts long past the time you are no longer in physical proximity and they will be drawn to you. Make no mistake, what you gave them is so rare in this world. We all seek that sort of bond. It is intoxicating.

Now go forth and use your new power responsibly!


If you are curious about the other principles that underlie the elusive trait known as charisma, I have just released my first book, Unlock Your Charisma.

Available on Kindle and Apple Books, get the insights you need to become your most charismatic self.