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Loy Machedo's Book Review: The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane

There are some books which you cannot put down. And then there are certain books that you can read over and over again. Olivia Fox Cabane's book fuses the ethos of Social Psychology, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Neuropsychology Research with Emotional Intelligence and the Zen Buddhist Philosophies to come up with The Charisma Myth. After reading Robert B. Cialdini's book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion and Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, I would say this another landmark book in my collection.

In The Charisma Myth, Olivia Fox Cabane makes a compelling argument that charisma is the product of a certain mindset and behaviors which are both attainable and trainable. The book proves effective with its list of quotes, anecdotes, thought-provoking theories and logical explanations.

For a NLP & Hypnosis practitioner like me, any book that involves a practice-till-you-perfect approach is always a welcome addition. So if you feel this is a book that only gives you an entertaining read, well get surprised. It also has a list of to-do items that you can keep working on and perfect over a period of time. Oh by the way, there are a lot of processes described in this book which are nothing short of the NLP model of behaving. Most of the principles stated give you a Déjà vu of the Principles promulgated by Richard Bandler & John Grinder and yes, in time made famous by Tony Robbins.

To grab your attention in the beginning, Fox begins her book by stating the amazing story of Marilyn Monroe and how she incorporated Charisma that made her transform from Norma Jeane Mortenson to the Legendary Sensual Goddess of Hollywood.

Then she states the following tips, that makes you want to read more.
1. Lower the intonation of your voice at the end of your sentences
2. Reduce the speed and rapidity of nodding
3. Pause for two seconds before you speak

The book takes the approach of focusing on your mindset, your attitude, choice of behaviors, what you think, your body language and that in turn affects and impacts how you communicate.

The chapters in the book are as follows:
Chapter 1 - Charisma Demystified
Chapter 2 - The Charismatic Behaviors: Presence, Power and Warmth
Chapter 3 - The Obstacles to Presence, Power and Warmth
Chapter 4 - Overcoming the Obstacles
Chapter 5 - Creating Charismatic Mental States
Chapter 6 - Different Charisma States
Chapter 7 - Charismatic First Impressions
Chapter 8 - Speaking and Listening with Charisma
Chapter 9 - Charismatic Body Language
Chapter 10 - Difficult Situations
Chapter 11 - Presenting with Charisma
Chapter 12 - Charisma in Crisis
Chapter 13 - the charismatic Life - Rising to the Challenge.

If I were to compile her words of wisdom, here are some of the pointers she shares.
1. Presence - mindful attention, patient listening, avoiding interruption
2. Power - appearance, clothing, occupy space, positive wording (avoid "don't"), placebo effect
3. Warmth - chin down, eye contact, Duchenne smile (mouth corners, eye corners), gratitude, compassion, appreciation - counteract "hedonic adaptation"
4. Goodwill - wishing the other person well
5. Empathy - understanding the other's experience
6. Altruism
7. Compassion - a combination of empathy+goodwill
8. Forgiveness of self and others
9. Self-compassion - self-acceptance. Positively correlated with emotional resilience, sense of personal responsibility, accountability, sense of connectedness, life satisfaction, positive relationships with others, self-confidence, willingness to admit errors, low self-pity, low depression, low anxiety, improved immune system functioning
10. "Metta" - loving kindness to self, others

Overall, I enjoyed this book thoroughly and feel there is a lot I can learn from this book - but then the only question is, how much are you willing to apply and practice That is the question which I believe will make the big difference.

A worthwhile read and amazing investment.

Overall rating
10 out of 10.

Loy Machedo
loymachedo.com


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