Do you ever wonder how to be more compelling? If you want to make a difference, you must make an impact. Making an impact requires a purpose or cause and your willingness to invest a piece of yourself to influence change. A compelling person stands a better chance of influencing outcomes than those who are not.
Influencing change depends upon your ability to convey your message in a manner that causes other people to respond to you. If you are not a compelling person, you may become frustrated in your lack of impact. Before you get too frustrated with others, take a moment to consider how you can increase your influence.
Everyone wants to influence change at some level. Each of us has a need to make an impact. Our ability to make an impact is a core component of our self-identity or self-image. Therefore, if you want to become more compelling, it starts with you.
I have a habit of picking up random books and reading a section. It stimulates my thinking and helps me connect ideas. Recently, I picked up a book by Roger Ailes, You Are the Message. Originally published in 1989, I was attracted by the byline, Getting What You Want by Being Who You Are. The first half of this sentence strikes me as a bit selfish or egocentric. It projects the It’s all about me attitude that turns many people off in our current social environment. It actually hurts the ability to be compelling.
The second half of the byline was more appealing, “Being Who You Are.” This resonates with me as I believe the ability to be real, genuine, and authentic is critical to happiness, success, and living with meaning and purpose. It is a fundamental component of living an intrinsically motivated life. Trying to be someone you are not, or pretending to emulate someone in ways that cause you to abandon your own identity, is demotivating and unsustainable.
This blog is based upon some of the principles in chapter 9 titled, Beyond Charisma: Control of the Atmosphere. While Ailes’ purpose in this chapter is help the reader understand how to control a room of people, he provides some great hints about what an individual needs to do to be compelling.
The chapter begins with a definition of the word “Charisma”. It comes from the Greek word Kharisma meaning favor or divine gift. Its root is kharis, meaning grace. Charisma can be very helpful to the person seeking to make an impact. It is easier to believe and follow a charismatic person over a person with the enthusiasm of a wall flower. Ailes writes,
Everyone wants to have charisma in some sense. It is having that special, inspiring quality that helps you be compelling, interesting, and believable. Some people seem to have charisma naturally; others work hard to achieve it.
I believe everyone needs to have some level of charisma or the world would be a boring place. One byproduct of charisma is confidence. It is difficult to align yourself behind anyone who lacks it. Non-confident people are not believable and it is unrealistic for you to expect anyone to place their trust in you, especially people in authority or have major responsibilities.
The first step to become more compelling is to be more authentic.Â Authenticity captures the second part of the byline. It is to be the person you are. It is well worth your time on this first step before considering any further steps since this will define how you proceed to the other steps. Write a short sentence or paragraph to capture your thoughts. Try and capture the essence of your being rather than describing your social status (I’m King) or job (I’m President). Those are temporal in nature and dangerous foundations for your identity. Rather, focus on words that describe your nature, or being, such as caring, focused, thoughtful, helpful, insightful, thrifty, or encouraging. Also, consider a cause that defines your life in your statement.
I will post Part 2 of this blog on Saturday that will explore seven characteristics of charismatic people.