The Laws of Charisma

How to Captivate, Inspire, and Influence for Maximum Success

The Laws of Charisma

Author: Kurt W. Mortensen
Pub Date: October 2010
Print Edition: $21.95
Print ISBN: 9780814415917
Page Count: 208
Format: Hardback

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Charisma Blind Spots

Think you already have charisma? You might be surprised to see where you’ve been misled and what you lack. In his new book, THE LAWS OF CHARISMA (AMACOM 2010), Kurt W. Mortensen highlights the blind spots (or common mistakes) that accompany each of the skills, traits, and attributes associated with charisma. Here are a few to reflect on:

People skills. The ability to connect with people is critical for charisma. Yet, many times people perceive an attempt to gain rapport as over-eagerness or insincerity. Blind spot: Do you know an annoying person who rubs you the wrong way? Do you know a nerdy person who thinks she is cool? Do you know a person who other people pretend to like just to be polite? Well, that person could be you. How well do you really get along with different personalities? Charismatic people work on their people skills every day.

Influence. Charisma—getting others to do what you want them to do and to like doing it—goes hand in hand with influence. Just like power, influence is neutral. It depends on how you use it. A subtle art and science, influence can be applied without manipulating anyone to benefit everyone involved. It takes hard work and a soft touch. Blind spot: Most people exert influence in the wrong way. They tend to try to influence others as they like to be influenced and wind up getting only short-term compliance. Or worse, they resort to coercion. Charismatic people read others before rushing in and adapt their approach to ensure long-term compliance and genuine support.

Eye contact. Listeners can determine the truthfulness, intelligence, and feelings of a speaker through the eyes. Charismatic people have the ability to engage others with their eyes and create instant, powerful connections. Blind spot: The most common blunder is thinking, “How hard can this be?” Mastering eye contact takes some practice. One standard gaze will not connect with everyone. To be effective, the length and intensity of eye contact must vary depending on the person, personality, and culture. Having charisma is difficult when your stare makes someone feel uncomfortable.

Goodwill. Mastering the power of charisma doesn’t mean having others look up to you and serve you. When you focus on others, show kindness, and offer charity, the focus will return to you. When you look for the good in others, you become better yourself. Blind spot: Having and showing goodwill towards others is something most of us think we are already doing. Ask yourself whether you can do more. Being kind to others empowers them and increases your charisma. Do not wait until you have more time and money to give back. Start practicing goodwill and charity today.

Adapted from THE LAWS OF CHARISMA: How to Captivate, Inspire, and Influence for Maximum Success by Kurt W. Mortensen (AMACOM 2010).

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