Charisma on Command: Building Conviction


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In a previous post, I wrote about Charlie Houpert, the 20-something author of Charisma on Command: Inspire, Impress, and Energize Everyone You Meet . He has a formula for “taking your confidence and charisma to the next level in the situations where you need it the most.”

His formula is: Charisma = Conviction + Energy + Presentation

Houpert says conviction is the belief that you are going to succeed. When you really believe in yourself, he says, other people will be able to look at you and see the belief. He writes: “[Charismatic people] are simply displaying conviction through every physical method possible.  Eye contact, tonality, flinching, muscle tension, breathing and myriads more.  They are so minute that we don’t consciously pick up on them as an observer.  But our subconscious processes them all and provides us with a feeling: “He’s lying,” or “He’s telling the truth.””

These micro signals are also called subcommunications, and he says they “tell everyone how to treat you.  Which is why conviction is so crucial not only to charisma, but to life.  You are sending a non-stop broadcast out that says, “Treat me like I’m awesome.” Or you’re sending one that says “Treat me like wallpaper.”  Either way, people do as you say.”

So becoming more charismatic is, in part, about learning to master your feelings. You’ll need to develop your confidence and let it shine out in every gesture you make. Easier said than done, I know.  But Houpert does have some ideas on how to begin. He calls them charismatic convictions, and they are the building block of confidence and conviction. Here are two of his charismatic convictions.

  1. “I’ll be OK.” Sounds small and easy, doesn’t it?  But it’s a powerful mantra. What if she turns me down for a date? I’ll be OK. What if I don’t get the job? I’ll be OK. What if my idea bombs? I’ll be OK. What if no one comes to my workshop? I’ll be OK.

The power of this mantra is in knowing you can survive if you take a risk and fail.  People who don’t think they’ll be OK don’t take risks. They don’t fail often, but they don’t succeed either. Both success and failure build confidence, especially after you realize that you’ll be OK after you fail.

  1. I am more concerned with my character than the opinion of others. Coach John Wooden said: “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

Houpert says you should only change what you do based on other people’s opinions when the feedback is:

  • Consistent
  • Not in line with your values

In other words, if you hear something once, it may or may not be important, but you shouldn’t worry about it. But if you start to hear it consistently, it might be time to pay attention. But ONLY if the second criterion is also met: the feedback is not consistent with your values. If what they’re saying does not reflect who you want to be, then it’s probably time for a change.

How many times have you let others dictate how you feel about yourself? Have you ever let one disparaging comment change your course? What if you had the courage to continue to be yourself, despite what others were saying?

When you’re in control of your character, you become much more charismatic. You’ll never be able to please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself.

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