The Charisma Myth: Review

One of the most important things you can develop in life is your personal charisma. Yes, you can develop charisma. It’s not something you’re born with/without. This is the basis of The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane. She presents techniques she developed for Harvard and MIT to break down charisma into its individual components. Allowing you to boost your personality, not change it, and increase your charisma. With this increased charisma you can become more influential, persuasive, and inspiring.

The Charisma Myth
The Charisma Myth

Even more importantly the book provides easy to understand examples and actionable tips to improve your charisma. This powerful book comes in right under 250 pages allowing you to read it quickly and then come back to the things you need to improve.

Throughout the book you are given actionable tips that will help increase your charisma. Two tips that particularly helped me was stopping for two full seconds before speaking and reducing the amount of times I nodded while listening. I found that I would rush to respond to someone right away. This made it seem like I wasn’t listening and was only waiting to respond. Simply waiting two seconds, which feels like forever but is barely perceptible, adds a little bit of thoughtfulness to your interaction. I would also nod along to everything the other person said. This made me seem frantic and less “powerful”. All I did was slow down and limit my nodding and there was a measurable change. As you can see these tips can be easily inserted into any daily interaction throughout your day to day life.

At the core of the book is belief that charisma is not some mythical trait you are either born with or without. Charisma is actually the result of specific nonverbal behaviors. These nonverbal behaviors are presented in three ways; Presence, Power, and Warmth. These can be implemented without changing your personality. You don’t need to be an extrovert to use this book.

The absolute key to charisma is being present in the interaction. People can sense if you’re not fully engaged in the conversation. Your body language sends signals that you aren’t fully there. I’m sure you have been in a situation where you were telling a story and could tell the other person wasn’t listening. By getting out of your own head and listening instead of thinking of your response you will greatly increase your presence. A quick way to do this is to focus your breathing and point your toes towards the person.

Besides the quick and practical tips the book goes into detail about how to get into a mindset conducive to being more charismatic. It details everything from the obstacles you will face, and how to overcome them, to creating charismatic mental states. By the end of the book you will be living a more charismatic life that will pay major dividends. For example, I read this book before my most recent job search and used the tips and mindsets presented in the book during my interviews. I interviewed at four companies, and was offered four jobs, including my current job. I know the insights from this book helped do that.

This book will help your personal and professional lives in a major way. It’s a must have for every man’s bookshelf. If you missed it in July’s Culture Carton Shipment you can pick it up in our store. Click here to check it out.

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