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February 2016 Article

Developing Charisma and Personal Magnetism
By Jim Luger, CDEI
Certified Distance Education Instructor 

When projecting charisma and personal magnetism, politicians get elected more often, executives rise to the top, and real estate agents list more sellers’ properties and attract more buyers.
 
Are you a charismatic person? If not, I have good news: You can easily learn the elements of charisma and a magnetic personality. Those elements are identifiable, and once you identify them, you can develop and use them.
 
The 3 Prime Elements of Charisma and Magnetism
In her book, “The Charisma Myth—How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism,” Professor and consultant Olivia Fox Cabane has identified three primary characteristics, that if learned, will make you immediately notice you when you enter a room; people will want to know what you have to say, and will be eager to earn your approval. These three primary characteristics are presence, power, and warmth, and all three must be working in unison.
 
To see how presence, power, and warmth work together, let’s look at each one individually.
 
Presence
Being present is simply being completely here, right now; being centered, focused, and aware. The opposite of being present is to be distracted---mentally elsewhere, perhaps inside your own head, or uncomfortable in some way.
 
Power
There are many ways to express power. One is to wear a police or military uniform. Another is to have a position of authority or celebrity. Or, you could be considered exceptionally wise, compassionate, or loving. As examples, Mother Teresa wielded great respect and power for her unconditional love and compassion, millions followed Mahatma Gandhi for his vision and wisdom, and General Patton moved tanks and troops into battle with self-assuredness and authority.
 
Warmth
Presence and power will get you noticed, but you’ll need to add warmth to make people want to follow you. Warmth, as with a genuine smile, must come from within to be believed. You must actually feel compassion and respect for your clients, and you must want to know what makes them unique individuals. When I visited India, the Hindus I met would fold their hands with fingertips touching, like in Christian prayer, bow to me and say “Namaste,” a greeting which means “I bow to the divine in you.” It’s a tremendously engaging gesture. To this day, I remember the essence of that greeting by telling myself the person I am about to meet or shake hands with is a reflection of divine goodness. 

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