Thursday, October 21, 2010

5 Questions with Kurt Mortensen, author of The Laws of Charisma


What’s the most important law of charisma?
It would depend on the situation, but I feel the most important thing about influencing others and radiating charisma is having heartfelt passion.  You can tell when you meet a passionate person.  People are drawn to them because deep down people want to be passionate about something and when they see that passion in your eyes, you become more charismatic.  They sense that you can help them and improve their lives.  This does not guarantee everyone will like you, but they will respect you for your conviction and your passion. 
Passion is very contagious.  When you transfer this passion, the people around you start to radiate that passion.  They perform better, if it is at work, it is no longer work.  They become more proactive, more willing to work as a team and become more optimistic.  When you have tapped into this passion you become more determined and it increases your persistence.  It starts to become a burning desire and consumes you and it radiates to others.  A word of caution, just because you are passionate does not mean you can forego learning the skills you need to be successful.  It is a critical piece of the charisma pie, but you still need more pieces of the pie to radiate powerful long-term charisma.

Who's the most charismatic leader out there and the most charismatic person you've met?
There are many leaders that contain many of the traits of a truly charismatic person.  It is become more difficult to find the complete package.  One charismatic person I have met and admire is Jim Rohn.  He had the ability to connect with anyone, make you feel like you are the most important person in the world and exuded pure passion.  His message inspires hope, courage and motivation to succeed.
Another example would be Jack Welch.  Jack Welch is a great example of visionary charismatic leadership.  He transformed GE with his ability to create, deliver and inspire vision.  He was known for never compromising and what he said, he meant.  In the 80’s Jack Welch had the vision of streamlining GE into a more competitive company.  He created a vision to eliminate inefficiency and cut corporate red tape.  He had everyone buy into the concept that every company under GE should be number one or number two in their industry or sell the business.  Initially he had his critics, but his vision, charisma and convictions turned his goals into reality.  Welch pushed people to perform, but he also would hand out some great rewards.  He went on earn great respect not only from GE, but from all of corporate America.

What's one of the most charismatic things you've done in your life that you're particularly proud of?
I have spent my life monitoring successful people.  I always wanted to know what makes them tick and why they do what they do.  The thing that makes me tick and what I proud of is the ability to train and teach these vital life and success skills.  I have developed charisma over the years to train others in a seminar setting to not only see the importance of these skills, but to actually learn and implement the ability to influence and have charisma.   These skills are changing lives and changing financial future.

What's one tip you could give someone to instantly improve their charisma levels?
The first thing to focus on would be the ability to create an instant connection with people.  We have all met someone who, after just a few seconds of being in their presence, felt an instant connection or bond with them.  We have probably all met someone whom we instantly did not like and did not want to be around.  When you can develop rapport, when you can connect with anyone, when others feel comfortable around you, then you can enhance the charisma process.  They will pay more attention to you, they will want to be influenced by you and it is easier to get them to open up.  This rapport is when 2 (or more) people synchronize mentally, physically and vocally.  If you disconnect, it will take over an hour to repair that connection.  How do you come across to others?  Can you instantly develop a rapport with someone?  This is a vital skill of charismatic people – to instantly synchronize with someone without even thinking about it.

Rapport creates trust and puts us on the same wavelength as the person or audience.  You have seen rapport before, I know it has happened to you.  Remember when you met a perfect stranger and just hit it off?   Finding plenty to talk about, you almost felt as if you had met before.  It just felt right.  You become so comfortable that you could talk about practically anything and you lost track of time. You developed such a strong bond with that person that you knew what she was going to say.  Everything just clicked between the two of you and you felt very close to this person.  It could be a physical attraction, or it might just entail being on the same wavelength.  You feel your ideas are in sync and you enjoy your time together.  This is rapport.

For people who are monotone and non-charismatic by nature, is there something that they can do to improve their charisma?
When people are monotone or don’t understand the power of their voice – it will drain their charisma.  Your voice is your calling card.  Your voice must exude confidence, courage and conviction.  We judge others by their voice:  arrogant, nervous, weak or strong.  If you sound uncertain and timid, your ability gain charisma will falter.  Charismatic voices have a soothing volume, varied emphases, good articulation, and a pleasing pitch.  Your voice will either connect you with your audience or disconnect with them on a subconscious level. 
What does your voice trigger in people?  What words to you use that are repelling people?  The way you package your words and how you say those words can create energy, excitement and vision.  The right words will captivate and the wrong words will devastate.  The right words in the right tone can help you create a connection and you will become more influential.  Your voice must be interesting and easy to listen to in order to help, rather than hinder, your ability to gain charisma and influence others.

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