Book review: The Charisma Myth

Emma De Vita reviews the book by Olivia Fox Cabane

The Charisma Myth, by Olivia Fox Cabane
The Charisma Myth, by Olivia Fox Cabane

You either have it or you don't: charisma is just for those lucky few who were born with it, isn't it?

Think again, says lecturer and executive coach Olivia Fox Cabane, who shares techniques to make you more influential, persuasive and inspiring. Soon, she promises, you will move through a room and people will say: "Wow, who's that?" Charisma will be yours.

So how do you "master the art of personal magnetism"? There are three core qualities you will need to project: presence, power and warmth. All three are communicated mostly through body language, which is not under your conscious control - your emotional and mental state determines your body language. The trick is to adjust your mental state so that your body language projects charisma.

Fox Cabane borrows from the world of sports coaching by encouraging the use of visualisation to project a positive mental state. But don't stop there. "Practising gratitude, goodwill and compassion puts you in a mental state that projects warmth," she writes. "And compassion for yourself, surprisingly, helps you access all aspects of charisma."

You can picture the heads turning already ...

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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