What I've been reading: Charismatic Edition

August 28, 2015

Notes from The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane:

  • When you are in discomfort, make changes to your environment to alleviate it. If you cannot, consider rescheduling an important conversation. Other people can sense your unease but do not necessarily know the reason for it. Naturally they may consider whether it relates to themselves or to a quirk of your personality.
  • Before going into a performance, just imagining a loved one embracing you can give you a shot of oxytocin and calm your nervers.
  • It’s important to practice emitting warmth - one way you can do this is to take up the Buddhist practice of Metta meditation
  • Charisma is the simultaneous projection of both power and warmth whilst being fully present
  • Make a practice to send JALIR emails - defines the structure: Justification (/pretense), Appreciation, Lay-it-all-out, Impact (theirs, on you), Responsibility (theirs, for your success)
  • Coming back to centre:
    • Check in with your posture
    • Relax & deepen your breathing if it has become rapid/shallower
    • Recognize your thoughts as not necessarily being the only truth
    • Think of a loved one’s embrace
  • To make an effective apology, you must forgive yourself first
  • Do ‘charisma warmups’ before an important event
    • Do an activity that makes you feel competant/accomplished
    • Hang out with a supportive friend
    • Play upbeat music
  • Don’t make it seem like someone is in the wrong, or that a criticism is an attack on them personally. Don;t believe it either! The notion of ‘personality defect’ is unhelpful
  • Your emotions spread to others through emotional contagion = be aware of the messages you send with your body language
  • To project power, take up space & be still. This also produces a physiological shift towards more confidence.
  • Charisma can be projected be the eyes alone - ‘charismatic eyes’. Characterized by a state of soft focus, produced by the positivity in your mindstate
  • Never interrupt people, and occassionally wait a second or two before replying to let their point sink in
  • People associate you with the feelings you produce in them
  • Don’t waste time worrying about precisely what you said, people will forget your words and only remember how it felt to be with you
  • Leave a conversation gracefully by offering something of value as you leave (e.g info/connection/etc)
  • Types of charisma:
    1. Authority (confidence)
    2. Vision (belief)
    3. Focus (presence)
    4. Kindness (caring) All are necessary, but some moreso at different times, and some may be more suited to your caracter than others (I would guess I lean towards the Vision/Kindness axes)
  • Visualising the desired outcome can help to get you into the right mental state; it is infinitely preferable to worrying about potential problems
  • Get comfortable with discomfort. If you want to break eye contact - delve into your discomfort. If someone sys something that makes you cringe and turn away - delve into your discomfort. Etc.