The Charisma Myth: Master the Art of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane

This is a fascinating read on charisma, or charm as I prefer to call it. If you’ve ever wondered how politicians learn the art of the schmooze then look no further than this very smart lady: Olivia Fox Cabane.

She advises top companies and executives on how to do this stuff and for the rest of us… she’s Charisma mythwritten this book.

I loved her description of the ‘types’ of charimsa – these being focus, authority, visionary or kindness. She attributes these charisma types as a mixture of the three core elements of charismatic behaviour which she names as: presence, power and warmth. For example focus charisma combines both presence and confidence.

According to Olivia the art of being present is the cornerstone that the other behaviours can be built on.

“Being charismatic does not depend on how much time you have but on how fully present you are in each interaction,” she says.

Olivia is adamant that charisma can be learnt and developed by anyone, saying ‘it’s not magic, it’s learned behaviors.”

Here’s 6 tips for developing your own charisma

(headings = mine, quotes = directly from the book)

1. Imagine a movie star
“One great trick is to imagine that the person you’re speaking with is the main star in a movie you’re watching right now. This will help you find them more interesting, and there’s even a chance that you’ll make them feel like a movie star, too.”

2. Use the pause
“Master listeners know one extra trick, one simple but extraordinarily effective habit that will make people feel truly listened to and understood: they pause before they answer.”

3. Smile
“There’s only one thing you need to do in order to project more warmth in your voice: smile.”

4. Mirror their body language
“Imitating someone’s body language is an easy way to establish trust and rapport. This technique, which is often called mirroring or mimicking, is the conscious application of something that many charismatic people do instinctively.”

5. Focus on how you make other people feel
“Remember that one of the foundations of charisma is making other people feel good about themselves.”

6. A simple equation. Charisma = power + warmth
“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”

Like to read more? Head on over here. If you’re more a visual person then I recommend watching this YouTube video which is a great summary of the book – it’s via Talks at Google

Happy reading and watching,

C x

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