Your Superpower – Part 2
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Last week we started our conversation with these words from President Eisenhower, “Leadership is the art of getting other people to do what you want done, but because they want to do it.” I went on to share some content from the new book by Dr. Zoe Chance, “Influence Is Your Superpower.” We looked at the difference between the Gator Brain and the Judge Brain and how we can frame our requests in ways that help our team make choices more quickly and more easily.

This week I want to touch on another tool for living a life of influence, charisma. I know many will tell you that some people are born with charisma, and some sadly are not. That is a true statement. What is also true is that anyone can learn to be more charismatic.

Webster’s Dictionary defines charisma as:

  1. a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure
  2. a special magnetic charm or appeal

I like to describe charisma like this: likable and exhibiting a reassuring confidence.

If I asked you to name charismatic people, I am sure several would immediately come to mind. My guess is you would say that they are very likable, and people are drawn to them. I believe charisma is the difference-maker. When someone has charisma, we are much more likely to be influenced by them.

One of the ways we become more likable is to shift our focus to the other person. In other words, stop the I, Me, and My. Show genuine interest in others. Give people permission to share their stories. Everyone has a story they can tell, and generally, they like telling it. People love to hear their own name, so remember people’s names. When someone is speaking with you, turn toward them and make eye contact. Put down the phone and pause your entire body. When they speak, ask a question about what they just said. Remember, we are showing genuine interest in the person. The more we learn about them, the easier it will be to add value to their life.

Dr. Chance noted that when a person lowers the pitch of their voice, they appear more confident. As a communicator, this was fascinating to me. If you think about when you are getting defensive and upset, the pitch of your voice goes up, you get louder, and often speak faster. Slow down, take a deep breath, and relax your vocal cords. You will sound more confident without sounding angry or defensive.

Lastly, when someone else is being charismatic, don’t try to out charisma them. Don’t steal their moment by trying to have a better or more exciting story. Charisma is all about connection. When people are charismatic, we want to connect with them. We just like them.

If you would like to hear more tips on how anyone can be more charismatic, please join Marisa Norcross and me for episode 248 of The Next Page podcast.

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