7. Can Charisma be a Bad Thing?

public.jpeg

The Charisma Chronicles: episode #7 of 10

Sometimes It’s hard to talk about Charisma with busy professionals sometimes because it can have a few negative connotations.

  • Are we talking about dating? Nooooo!

  • Is charisma a substitute for hard work and merit? Nope, though there will always be people who attempt to use it this way.

  • Isn’t teaching charisma teaching someone to be manipulative?

I really want to consider that last question.

When you have charisma, people gravitate towards you. In addition, because of the deep emotional connection you have, they are more likely to be influenced by you.

The only difference between a servant leader and a narcissistic leader in terms of charisma is the goal they deploy their charisma to serve.

Ask yourself, do you deploy your influence for the mutual benefit of the person and yourself, or just yourself?

So at the end of the day, having oodles or charisma is no more likely to be abused than any other skill such as strategic thinking, personal branding, or negotiating.

Charisma is not manipulative. The person with the charisma can be manipulative or not.

public.jpeg

There is one hazard for people who start to get charisma. It has less to do with charisma itself and more to do with the power you may come into as a result.

The thing we need to consider is how charisma gives a person a sort of elevated status among their peers. Eventually, this person may soar ever higher, like a hot air balloon sailing into the clouds. 

As you sail higher and higher and look down at the people below who are getting smaller and smaller, a few things can happen.

You lose the ability to relate to people below you and more readily dehumanize them.

You feel that you are above the law and that the rules don’t apply to you.

You lose the rigor of judgment and thinking that got you here.

The antidote is to have certain anchors in your life like the sandbags that weigh down hot air balloons.

One example is one that I’m fortunate to have in my wife, I mean life.

An anchor against getting too full of yourself is to have an anchor person in your life who helps you keep your feet on the ground and gives honest feedback from the perspective of someone who cares more about you than how they can benefit from you. They will always tell you when you step out of line or start to get a skewed perspective.

The alternative? The Emperor’s New Clothes.

The bottom line is charisma is just a tool and neighing teaching it, having it or using it is intrinsically good or bad. The important thing is how it is deployed by the person who wields it.

Finally, when charisma leads to success, like any other success it can be heady stuff and without being anchored in life, you can lose your way. Caveat emptor.

Charisma ebook COVER.jpeg

If you are curious about the other principles that underly 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.

6. Why Some People Have More Charisma

public.jpeg

The Charisma Chronicles: episode #6 of 10

There is at least one in every room, every school, every board room.

The one.

I’m not talking about Neo from the Matrix, but I might as well be.

You’ve seen it yourself. It is the person, who for better or for worse, everyone seems to follow, listen to, and take their cues from. Sometimes that’s a good thing and you can do great things together and sometimes they wreak havoc without any apparent accountability.

The question we are wrestling with today is not the morality of this person, but rather why some people have charisma to spare and others have very little.

Let’s rule out some common, but incorrect theories about why some people have more charisma. Is it based on:

  • Looks? No

  • Money? Nope

  • Height? Sorry

  • Pedigree? That would be unfair and . . . No.

  • Moral ambiguity? You’re frightening the children and no.

  • Listening skills? Close, but no cigar.

  • Authenticity? Great quality, but not sufficient.

  • Power poses? You must be joking.

  • Ability to mimic body language? Stop. Just stop. You’re embarrassing yourself now. Okay, maybe I tried this. Once. Perhaps.

To understand why some people have more charisma, we have to go back to our original definition of charisma. I first shared this in episode #1 of the Charisma Chronicles and I’ll repeat it here.

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

Anyone, and I repeat anyone, who is able to do this will have charisma.

I don’t care how rich/poor, attractive/unattractive, famous/obscure or old/young you are. This is because charisma happens in the invisible emotional space between people.

So why are some people better at doing the necessary than others?

Why are some people better at singing or doing puzzles? It’s a combination of innate ability, ability to learn, and practice to improve.

If we look at these areas, innate ability and ability to learn are out of our control. There is only one area that we have any control over — the quantity and quality of practice.

The simple answer is most people with more Charisma have been practicing it their whole lives for one reason or another.

People aren’t practicing charisma consciously. No 5 year-old says, “I’m going to be charismatic.”

It’s more a byproduct of how they interacted with their environment and charisma becoming a main tool they deployed just like any other ability like grit or humor. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s a survival skill.

Here’s the good news. Even if you didn’t practice and learn charisma early on, you can still learn it today. Like acquiring any new skill that you don’t currently have, it will be uncomfortable, you will stink at first and you will want to give up. That’s ok. For those who understand how charisma works and put in the practice needed, the rewards are tremendous.

Charisma ebook COVER.jpeg

If you are curious about the other principles that underly 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.

5. How Does He/She Make Charisma Look So Easy?

public.jpeg

The Charisma Chronicles: episode #5 of 10

Ever notice how the more you want something, the further away it seems to get?

In fact, sometimes the just the act of trying seems to make things worse than if you had done nothing. That’s why we have expressions like “trying too hard” and “get out of your own way.”

How come some people have it so easy? What is their secret?

Is there a secret?

When it comes to improving relationships, it’s folly to act as if we were human robots. Sure, there are emotional capabilities and skills that can be taught and improved upon. I’m not saying we shouldn’t strive to grow and learn.

When it comes to something as complicated, rich and dynamic as human relationships, you cannot program a natural response.

Once your conscious mind is engaged and you are trying to apply a strategy, your actions will be too slow or too stilted to be truly effective.

It’s like how you can tell when someone is trying to butter you up because they want something from you. You don’t need to be a championship poker player to read that from a person. It’s just in our DNA that we have this little sensor that chirps, “danger, danger!”

Here’s the key.

Think about any top-level performer you admire in any field or pursuit in life. They don’t have to be a professional or famous. Someone who you consider one of the best at what they do, whether it is being a parent or a Formula 1 driver.

Consider this. When they are in a situation where they need to perform, they are not thinking about how to perform. They are not thinking about what specific skills to deploy.

They already possess the skills and experience accumulated from a lifetime of learning. They effortlessly deploy exactly the skill that is needed at exactly the right moment, quite unconsciously. This is because they are the person they need to be already. All they need to perform at a high level is be in the right state of being.

When you struggle, you drown; when you relax, you float.

—Unknown via Tiffany Ann-Beverlin

This is why we have expressions like “in the zone” or “he’s unconscious” or “on cruise control.”

So to go back to the original question. How does someone make charisma look so easy?

The answer is that they are not trying. They are just in the right state of being where they can be their most charismatic and are just reacting to what is presented to them in the right way at the right moment. This state of being is a relaxed one which facilitates everything being absorbed and enables words and actions to flow readily.

It’s very much like watching a virtuoso musician, athlete or dancer. They just flow.

However, consider this. It’s not the skill level they possess that makes it look easy. If you see a virtuouso panic or choke under the pressure, they are underperforming relative to their ability.

What’s the difference?

The difference is for one reason or another, they were prevented from entering, the relaxed, high-performing state of being they usually inhabit during their typically great performances.

It’s exactly the same principle for you with regards to charisma. The best part is, you already have everything you need. You just need to unlock it.

Warning! Shameless plug coming!

If you want to learn more about how to unlock the charisma that you already have inside you, I take you through everything you need in my book, Unlock Your Charisma, available on Amazon Kindle and Apple Books.

Charisma ebook COVER.jpeg

If you are curious about the other principles that underly 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.