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The Myth Of Charisma

The beautiful thing about being a charismatic person is that it makes you and those who are with you FEEL GOOD.

Charismatic people bring joy and pleasure into the world. They are just fun to be with.

And according to Olivia Fox Cabane, author of the excellent book, “The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism,” anyone can be charismatic.

The Charisma Myth

You are not born with charisma, it’s a developed mindset and way of behaving.


Presence, Power and Warmth are the three elements of a charismatic person. Presence requires putting your attention on the person you are with so they feel “seen.”

There are four kinds of power: focus, visionary, kindness and authority. Think about the difference between Mother Theresa’s charisma vs. Bill Clinton’s authority vs. Steve Jobs’ vision — charisma is derived from various attributes such as benevolence or passion.

Warmth is perceived from generating goodwill and kindness toward others.

You can leverage all four kinds of charismatic styles depending on your situation. Any person can embody all of the styles.


You’ve heard that most of our communication comes through our bodies — how we behave — not through our words.

Charisma is conveyed primarily through your body. We can “read” another person’s intentions and your charisma is felt, more than heard, by others.

That’s why cultivating a charismatic demeanor starts with believing you are charismatic. Your mind controls what your body communicates. Getting your body in the right state of mind begins the move toward cultivating charisma.

The very first thing you can do to work on your body messaging, as you’re learning the mental skills to increase your charisma, is to assume a more regal posture. That alone will spike your power, as will taking up more space. Stretching your body, draping your arms across the back of the chair, making yourself seem bigger, all convey power that supports being more personally magnetic.

Your body will give away any incongruent thoughts. So the book, The Charisma Myth, is full of exercises that engage your mind in conveying the charismatic behaviors other people read on you.

Anxiety, discomfort, frustration, dissatisfaction, and lack of interest can all be perceived by others. There are techniques in the book to overcome fear and negative thoughts that sabotage your ability to be charismatic. The author uses a series of cognitive behavioral reframes (exercises) to combat negative thought processes that erode your charismatic potential. Some of them include being able to withstand uncomfortable situations, putting your measly issues in perspective as one person in the 7 billion on this planet, holding eye contact for longer, visualizing success, and practicing self-compassion. Because after all, how can you put charismatic attention on others if you’re eaten up inside from negative internal criticism?


First impressions are incredibly important. Research shows they are even more important than we might think.

And since you only have one chance to make a good first impression, if you don’t pay attention to this critical moment, you could undermine your entire future of interactions with any individual. Learning how to present yourself more charismatically through leveraging the practices you need to overcome your particular soft underbelly of fears will pay off in business and in life.

Confident body posture, attention on the other person, eye contact, smiling, a solid handshake, attractive clothing that conveys power and authority and most of all, becoming a great conversationalist will cement your value in another’s eyes.

And being a great conversationalist is EASY! It turns out that all you have to do is be interested in the other person. Asking questions of them, instead of talking about yourself, spikes your value in the other person’s esteem. Once you start being present, and you put your attention on a person, you can allow your natural curiosity to help you find questions that will make the person you’re talking to feel desirable and interesting. This puts you in a position of power and authority simply because you are doing the asking, rather than the talking.


Though every aspect of The Charisma Myth is focused on business strategy, all of the advice can be applied to dating and marriage.

The chapters on presence, mirroring and eye contact are as important when you’re out sarging the bars for hot chicks as when you are at dinner with your wife or husband.

A charismatic person is a catch. People are naturally drawn to you. You can affect more good in the world when you are able to amass loyal followers who want to support your vision. Plus, once you get control of your internal state through use of the appropriate exercises outline in the book, you’ll naturally move through life accomplishing more with less effort.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to become a more attractive, empowered human being. Though Olivia Fox Cabane has been helping industry titans become more irresistible, the skills are available to anyone to use.

For anyone who has a purpose, a mission or works for a non-profit or in philanthropy, this set of skills will make you more powerfully persuasive and effective in your mission.

13 Responses

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  2. I like the charisma of Warren Buffet. He is quite , simple , logical and man with a purpose. His success in investing and his logical step towards philanthropy is a wonderful outcome. May God Bless him. With Love to people with good intentions. Thanks

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