Thursday, September 07, 2006

Today, I wanted to share an article by a master persuader. Wouldn't you love to have people banging on your door to do business with you? The secret could be charisma. Here's what Kurt Mortensen has to say about developing the skills that will draw people to you.


For some, charisma is a mysterious attribute. It’s challenging to describe someone who exudes charisma because there’s really no way to quantify the effect this kind of person seems to have on others. It seems that you either have charisma or you don’t. Charisma is not leadership, assertiveness, or enthusiasm and it’s not exactly personality either. It’s its own unique characteristic. Charisma empowers others to like you, even if they don’t know much about you and even when there hasn’t been enough time to develop trust in you. If you have charisma, not only do people want to be around you, but, whether they realize it or not, they also want to be influenced by you. Charisma gives you power, allegiance, and devotion with your audience, without leaving them feeling powerless and it creates instant support. So, are you born with charisma or is it learned? The answer to both questions is yes! Some attributes are inherent! ; others can be acquired.

The word “charisma” comes from the Greek goddess Charis. Charis’ character was one of total beauty and charity. Today, the word has to do with an individual’s magnetism, intensity, vivaciousness, and so on. Gerry Spence’s said it best:

“Charisma is energy from the heart zone. If the speaker has no feeling, there is nothing to transfer. Charisma occurs when the speaker’s feelings are transferred in the purest form to another. Charisma is not a diluted feeling. It is not disguised. It is a raw feeling. Charisma is the passing of our pure energy, our pure passion to the other.”

People who are charismatic often hold us in awe. Their energy prods us, motivates us, and inspires us. They fulfill our need to have heroes. We feel better for having met them, seen them, listened to them, and interacted with them. Why and how do they have this effect on us?

Jay Conger has identified four general characteristics of charismatic leaders. As you develop these characteristics, people will follow you! You will become magnetic!

1. They have a strong and clear vision, and they know how to present it in the context of their audience’s needs.

2. They know how to present their vision so that the weaknesses of the present condition are apparent and the recommended changes are not only justifiable, but also desired.

3. They have a history of success, expertise, and vision to make educated departures from old traditions that may be less effective.

4. They possess the behavior they encourage others to have, modeling the results of change and thus helping their audience feel motivated and empowered to do likewise.

“Charisma is the result of effective leadership, not the other way around.”
-Warren Bennis

Persuade with Power,

Kurt W. Mortensen