Monday, December 20, 2010

Charisma: The Challenges of Open Communication

Charismatic personalities are often celebrated for their ability to articulate and maintain a strong command of language. To the charismatic personality, language is a double-edge sword that can build or tear down with equal intensity. While the charismatic personality is consciously aware of the power of words, he uses words as a source of influence and control. As a thinker, he knows intellectually how to generate specific responses to stimuli, but as one who loses himself in the field of ideas, he may not always be cognizant of the power of his words or his actions. Sounds contradictory? How can one be in tune with his power over words and still allows this knowledge to become lost in the field of ideas? This can occur because charismatic personalities often view ideas with less sensitivity than the emotions of others. People are the conduit by which ideas are manifested and often may take a backseat to the ideas themselves. In the field of ideas, charismatic personalities can experiment with various thoughts and precepts. Ideas are not emotional and do not take off-handed or misperceived comments personally. On the contrary, people take every nuance and connotation of language to heart. Thus, charismatic personalities must be ever vigilant over their words, because the passion and assuredness by which they speak can cause extreme chaos. The best place for charismatic personalities to frolic in the field of ideas is alone, because once ideas are brought to the masses; they must be delivered gently when emotions run high and forcefully when emotions are low. In this respect, charismatic personalities who speak cavalierly about critical issues do so at their own peril. If Carlyle’s idea of people being hard-wired for hero worshipping is accepted, then the deification of the charismatic personality beckons for a high degree of circumspection.

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