January 5, 2009
News & Opinion: Authentic Charisma. Charismatic Authenticity.
As Nick Morgan explains, every bit of communication consists of two conversations: verbal and non-verbal. Which has a greater impact? If you guessed the latter, you're right.
When Nick joined us for our Author Pow-wow, he illustrated this point with a story about the Dalai Lama:
He [the Dalai Lama] was over an hour late, but no one seemed to mind. The room was wildly overcrowded--it would have seated 50 comfortably, and there were at least 80 of jammed in, digging our elbows into each other's sides and apologizing as we did so. The vibe was very peaceful. And warm.
Finally, the lights dimmed, and a bent, middle-aged man in saffron robes walked slowly out, and sat down on the floor in the middle of the stage. And said...nothing. For one minute, two minutes--three minutes. He just looked at us.
And then he laughed, a weird, other-worldly laugh. He said, "You all look so serious. I'd better say something really important." And laughed again. The audience was completely transfixed. He had won us over entirely without saying anything.
What a moment! Can you imagine a speaker being an hour late, entering without apologies and winning over the crowd? It's that ability that Nick talks about in his latest book Trust Me: Four Steps to Authenticity and Charisma.
Over on his blog, Nick's been posting a set of posts related to authenticity and charisma. You can find those here.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.