Last week, I was inspired to read The Charisma Myth, by Olivia Fox Cabane, and wrote a post on the subject, Got Charisma: and Invitation to Experiment. I am now stuck on the questions surfacing in my mind. I am finding others bringing great questions to the exploration. We are all learning and having a lot of fun.
“It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.”
The author of the Charisma Myth, Olivia Fox Cabane, also read the post, and responded with an inspiring offer to participate in my follow-up blog by answering the top questions from my readers trying out her techniques. Game on.
Since I began paying more attention to charisma, everywhere I go, I notice charisma or the lack there of. It’s amazing what happens when you start focusing on something. I watch my behavior and that of others. How we show up matters– a lot. People respond to different levels of authenticity, poise, facial expressions and conversational patterns.
I first read the book because it is mid year appraisal time, and I was looking to help some team members explore a few questions.
- Would it be useful for them to be more charismatic?
- What would that look like?
- And the deeper question, what is charisma anyway?
My new charisma lens was still on as I was reading, Why People Fail, by Simon Reynolds on the plane this Sunday to a leadership conference. Fantastic book overall, with great thinking and insights. He explains that presentation skills are vital. Agreed. However, I was really disappointed to see that his list of “great speakers” to study and emulate, he did not include a single woman.
I will work on a list for a later post (and please feel free to comment on suggestions).
Of course, the leadership conference was filled with inspiring women speakers and participants (turns out there are quite a few dynamic role models he could have included). Charisma was oozing from the woodwork in various shapes and forms. I was incredibly inspired by the messages and equally intrigued by the presentation and interaction dynamics. More questions.
- Who was capturing attention? Why?
- What worked best for speakers?
- What worked best in small groups?
- What worked better over coffee vs. dinner with wine?
- What body language helped? What was distracting?
- What was I doing? How was it being received?
And, so I re-issue the invitation to participate in the experiment from my original post.
Here’s the deal:
Step 1: Let me know you have an intention to explore ([email protected])
Step 2: Read the book or take a look at her website
Step 3: Pick 1 or 2 techniques or behaviors you will try during the next month
Step 4: Take a few notes on the impact, and share them with me by commenting on this post or emailing me.
Step 5: Gather your questions for Olivia Fox Cabane, and send them to me and I will pick the top ones to share with her for her response and comments
Step 6: Enjoy the journey
In order to give everyone enough time to read and play with the concepts, I will ask for feedback and questions for Olivia by August 20th.
Here’s a few questions to guide your thinking (answer any that you like, i will share confidentially, unless you want to be quoted)
- Why did participate in this journey?
- What behaviors did you chose? Why?
- What worked? What didn’t?
- Will you continue to use the technique, Why or why not?
- What else?
Thanks for playing! Please feel free to contact me with any questions or ideas.
Check out Jill Bolte Taylor on Ted.com and her speech Stroke of Insight. I get chills watching it every time.
The best speech I ever heard in person was given by Lou Holtz at a business meeting 25 years ago.
Great speeches make you think, laugh, and cry. Jim Valvano once said that in a speech shortly before he lost his battle with cancer. “If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day.”
Barbara Jordan (dem from Texas – now deceased) was the best woman speaker I have heard. Carol Weisman is also a very funny and very powerful speaker.She is at http://www.boardbuilders.com/.
I have this battle in my head about being a great listener and the value of having to speak. so I will watch that play out of the next month. Maybe good to ask Olivia about that.
Ned and Steve, YES!!! This is exactly why I am blogging. I have watched these women, and you are right… this is going to be fun. Taking lots of notes for a post… more work to do….Who else has suggestions for great women speakers?