Friday, April 17, 2009

The Silence of Charisma

A study conducted by Dr. Albert Mehrabian of U.C.L.A. concluded that we understand 7%by others words, 38% by their tone of voice and 55% by their body language. Charismatic leaders are masters at reading people's non-verbal language. When you are listening to another person, you should not merely listen to their words, but what their body is communicating. This is also evolutionary in scope and increases in expertise with higher levels of study and concentration. How many times have you witnessed a man attempting to make a date with a woman utilizing all the charm and skill he could muster? As he stood there telling her how beautiful she was and how the sun rose and set on her mere presence, she responded with folded arms, "Yes and no" answers, and an inundation with her watch. She never once gave him the slightest inkling that she had an interest in him. She didn't say anything specifically, but her body language spoke volumes. Her 'would-be' suitor was totally oblivious to her communication. His actions are a sign of a person bereft of charisma. He was so interested in presenting his point of view that he failed to realize that she was expressing hers. This social faux pas, which is easily learned by study and observation, is the reason why many people are not deemed charismatic and are largely unsuccessful compared to those who are better skilled in communication.

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