Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.
– John F. Kennedy
Take a good long look at the photograph above. What do you see? What kind of emotions does it bring up within you?Advertising
This scene radiates an abundance of power and positive emotions. Without even knowing the context of the photograph, you can easily tell that John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, was genuinely charismatic. What does this mean? One good way to describe charisma is “personal magnetism,” as described by Olivia Fox Cabane, keynote-speaker and executive charisma coach. In her book, The Charisma Myth, she outlines three keys to charisma that anyone, regardless of personality type, can employ in their daily life.
Presence is the easiest but most misunderstood aspect of being charismatic. How hard is it to be present in an interaction? With our minds wandering about 47% of the time, it turns out, it is quite difficult. Simply put, being present means you have dedicated 100% of yourself to the current interaction. When someone is speaking to you, tune your brain into not only what they are saying, but why they are saying it as well.
Everyone wants to feel important. The best and easiest way to make people feel important is to legitimately listen to what they have to say, and clarify your understanding of their thoughts. This means thoroughly listening to another person’s point of view, instead of planning in your head what you are going to say next. While thinking what you are going to say next, how can you be fully understanding of what another person has to say? When you have an awesome idea, don’t you want people to listen? There is nothing more frustrating than when you have the best idea ever, and nobody seems to want to listen to you. When you finally find someone that makes an effort to understand you, don’t you feel a strong appreciation for them? This is the power of presence, and you can leverage this every day when you interact with people.Advertising
Power is one aspect of charisma that most people find difficult. Power is critical to charisma, simply due to the fact that powerful people attract attention. When you have some kind of desirable knowledge or expertise, people will follow you. People tend to want powerful people on their side. Impressing the boss feels a lot better than impressing the intern, right? The boss has a lot more influence than the intern, so it’s more fulfilling to have them on your side. But if you’re not the boss, how can you come across as powerful? The answer may surprise you.
Studies show that nonverbal communication, also known as body language, makes up around 60% of all interpersonal communication . This implies that your body language is more important than the content that comes out of your mouth. For the common person (a.k.a. not the boss), this is great news. You can convey power without always having something intelligent, witty, or profound to say. The reason that not everyone comes across as powerful is because weakness and insecurity can rear its ugly head in all of your body language and vocal tonality, without you even knowing it. People can easily detect these subtle expressions that you don’t realize you are giving off. So how can you demonstrate powerful body language and vocal tonality?
In order to convey power, it is important to have dominant body language. Claim territory with your body – take up space by comfortably spreading out your arms and legs. Keep your chin up, sit up straight (yes, Mother) and pull your shoulders down and slightly back. Improving your posture has been scientifically-proven to increase testosterone (dominance hormone) and decrease cortisol (stress hormone). Avoid fidgeting and putting your hands near your face or neck – these pacifying behaviors indicate that you are uncomfortable in your environment . Look people in the eye, especially when you are speaking directly to them. This is the most powerful way to deliver a message. One trick I like to remember is whenever I meet someone, I try to find out what color their eyes are right away. This ensures that your first impression demonstrates power and confidence.Advertising
One last key to projecting power is to have good vocal tonality. Make sure that your vocal intonation does not rise excessively at the end of your sentences (as it often does when you ask questions) – this indicates weakness, indecisiveness, and neediness. A recent study done by Quantified Impressions, an Austin, Texas, communications analytics company, showed that the sound of a speaker’s voice matters twice as much as the content of what they are saying. Think about this fact next time you listen to someone that has strong vocal tonality, but absolutely no idea what they are talking about.
Warmth is the final key to charisma, that when combined with the right amount of presence and power, will lead to massive personal attraction. Warmth, unlike presence and power, is the factor that makes you approachable. Warmth is somewhat related to presence, but is more related to providing a feeling of comfort to those you are interacting with. To be warm, it helps to treat others as equals, even though you may be much higher on the social ladder. Making people feel important makes them feel good, and if you are able to become a source of these feelings, people will be attracted to you. Warmth can be achieved by constantly being a source of positive emotions for all around you.
The key to generating massive amounts of charisma is to mix these three qualities in the right proportions. Too much warmth without power can come across as needy. Too much power without presence can come across as arrogant. Too much presence can come across as creepy; you get the picture. It is important to remember that being charismatic does not require an overhaul of your personality- but rather a re-tooling of beliefs about yourself and others that allow you to become a more attractive human being. Experiment with these three qualities to come up with your own personalized charisma concoction, and reap the benefits of becoming a magnetic person.Advertising Navarro, Joe, and Marvin Karlins. What Every BODY Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-reading People. New York, NY: Collins Living, 2008. Print.
Featured photo credit: The U.S. National Archives via flickr.com
Last Updated on May 17, 2019
This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone
The pursuit of worthwhile goals is a part of what makes life enjoyable. Being able to set a goal, then see yourself progress towards achieving that goal is an amazing feeling.
But do you know the biggest obstacle for most people trying to achieve their goals, the silent dream killer that stops people before they ever even get started? That obstacle is the comfort zone, and getting stuck there is bound to derail any efforts you make towards achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself.
If you want to achieve those goals, you’ll have to break free from your comfort zone. Let’s take a look at how your life will change once you build up the courage to leave your comfort zone.
What Is the Comfort Zone?
The comfort zone is defined as “a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance.”
What stands out to me the most about that definition is the last part: “using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance.” How many successful people do you know who deliver a steady level of performance?
The goal in life is to continually challenge yourself, and continually improve yourself. And in order to do that, you have move out of your comfort zone. But once you do, your life will start to change in ways you could never have imagined. I know because it’s happening right now in my own life.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
1. You will be scared
Leaving your comfort zone isn’t easy. In fact, in can be downright terrifying at times, and that’s okay. It’s perfectly normal to feel a little trepidation when you’re embarking on a journey that forces you to try new things.
So don’t freak out or get overwhelmed when you feel yourself getting a little scared. It’s perfectly normal and all part of the process. What’s important is that you don’t let that fear hold you back. You must continue to take action in the face of fear.
That’s what separates winners from losers.
2. You will fail
Stepping out of your comfort zone means you’re moving into uncharted territory. You’re trying things that you’ve never tried before, and learning things you’ve never learned before.
That steep learning curve means you’re not going to get everything right the first time, and you will eventually fail when you move out of your comfort zone. But as long as the failures aren’t catastrophic, it can actually be a good thing to fail because …
3. You will learn
Failure is the best teacher. I’ve learned more from each one of my failures than I have from each one of my successes. When you fail small, and fail often, you rapidly increase the rate at which you learn new insights and skills. And that new knowledge, if applied correctly, will eventually lead to your success.
4. You will see yourself in a different way
Once you move out of your comfort zone, you immediately prove to yourself that you’re capable of achieving more than you thought was possible. And that will change the way you see yourself.
Moving forward, you’ll have more confidence in yourself whenever you step out of your comfort zone, and that increased confidence will make it more likely that you continue to step outside your comfort zone. And each time you do, you’ll prove to yourself again and again what you’re really capable of.
5. Your peers will see you in a different way
Whether we want to admit or not, people judge other people. And right now, people view you in a certain way, and they have a certain idea of what you’re capable of. That’s because they’ve become accustomed to seeing you operate in your comfort zone.
But once you move out of your comfort zone, you’ll prove to other people, as well, that you’re capable of much more than you’ve shown in the past.
The increased confidence other people place in you will bring about more opportunities than ever before.
6. Your comfort zone will expand
The good thing about the comfort zone is that it’s flexible and malleable. With each action you take outside of your comfort zone, it expands. And once you master that new skill or action, it eventually becomes part of your comfort zone.
This is great news for you because it means that you can constantly increase and improve upon the behaviors that you’re comfortable with. And the more tools and skills you have at your disposal, the easier it will be to achieve your goals.
7. You will increase your concentration and focus
When you’re living inside of your comfort zone, the bulk of your actions are habitual: automatic, subconscious, and requiring limited focus.
But once you move out of your comfort zone, you no longer rely on those habitual responses. You’re forced to concentrate and focus on the new action in a way you never do in your comfort zone.
8. You will develop new skills
Moving out of your comfort zone requires that you develop new skills. One of the many benefits you’ll experience is that you’ll be stepping away from the “limited set of behaviors” and start to develop your ability and expertise in new areas.
Living inside of your comfort zone only requires a limited skill set, and those skills won’t contribute much to your success. Once you can confidently step outside of your comfort zone and learn a new skill, there’s no limit to how much you can achieve.
9. You will achieve more than before
With everything that happens once you move out of your comfort zone, you’re naturally going to achieve more than ever before.
Your increased concentration and focus will help you develop new skills. Those new skills will change the way you see yourself, encouraging you to step even further out of your comfort zone.
Featured photo credit: Josef Grunig via farm3.staticflickr.com