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The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism Paperback – March 26, 2013
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Format Paperback Subject Affirmations Inspiration Business Life General Miscellaneous Success Motivation Self Esteem Characteristics Qualities Self Improvement Relationships Interpersonal Publisher Portfolio Trade
Top customer reviews
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I don't really gush about things. If anything I tend to be very demanding and therefore very critical. Like I said, I think most books in this genre are essentially useless.
The Charisma Myth is a truly phenomenal book. It's so good that I have recommended it to several of my colleagues and it has already changed the way I manage my team and relate to my coworkers. In fact, my first gut reaction when I read it was "I guess I should stop speaking, now, because everything I'd want to talk about is covered in here."
Here's the thing: most of these kinds of books give you a few things:
1. Platitudes: useless, pithy sayings.
2. Random Anecdotes: stories that don't really offer any takeaway you can act on.
3. Abstract Imperatives: things like "be a good listener!" If you're not already a good listener that's kind of like saying "Roast Beef Recipe: Get some beef and roast it." It's not helpful - it doesn't tell me what actual specific actions to take.
Here's what this book gave me:
1. Extremely concrete, specific actions: Every piece of advice about conduct or mindset is accompanied by direct actions to take. When you're in a conversation and find your mind drifting, bring it back to a physical sensation in the present, like the feeling in your toes. That's just one example of many, but they're all things you can actually DO, not abstract imperatives like "be a better listener" or pithy-but-vapid stuff like "smile more!"
2. Visualizations: I've never seen anyone push visualization like Olivia does. She makes the compelling point that visualization is something top athletes and actors have known about forever. In my talks I've always felt slightly uncomfortable urging people to do visualizations, but not anymore, not after reading this. She runs through a lot of specific visualizations, and they're immediately useful practices.
3. Taxonomies: Of the most useful business and management blogs I read, some of their most useful posts (I'm thinking of randsinrepose.com, for example) are taxonomies. "The five kinds of meeting attendees." "The four kinds of firefighting." Or whatever. These are helpful to me because by enumerating a problem space as a handful of distinct categories they help me crystallize my own thinking about it. Olivia does this when she enumerates the four kinds of charisma. Look, I think I'm a good manager and leader, an empathetic guy and good at my job, I'm not gonna lie, but I'd never thought about it in this way. This was pretty eye-opening to me. I read this part and thought, oh yeah, I've got the "focus" and "kindness" charisma but less of the "authority" and definitely least of all the "visionary" charisma. And that gives me specific things to work on, and a way to understand why I'm better at motivating people in certain circumstances rather than others.
To anyone who wants to be more charismatic: to be more successful at work, more able to positively influence those around them, more able to open up and make real connections with others, and just more able to lead a rich and happy life - and I know how this sounds, I swear I don't usually gush like this! - this book tells you everything you need to know. Everything! No other book I've read does that.
To be clear, that's like saying Rippetoe's "Starting Strength" tells you everything you need to know to be a very good, extremely strong weightlifter. You still have to do a ton of really hard work! This book doesn't make you magically charismatic. But it gives you direct, specific, applied practices that, if you do them, will make you more charismatic and enrich your life. Of all the pop psychology, management, leadership, and professional self-help books I've ever read, I cannot say that about a single other one.
I give this book my absolute highest recommendation. It is absolutely superb. I don't say that lightly.
I got this book mainly so I could better improve my interaction with friends, and the tools I found in this book have impacted my life in such a way that I never expected. Now I recommend this book to anyone who struggles with friendship problems, social situations, business situations, or even self-esteem. I have never expected to learn so much from this book and would recommend it to anyone.
Excellent for introverts like myself who could use some help finding their voice at work and beyond. Really great tools and exercises to help work on improved team communication. One small critique - about 75% through the book, I did find some of the exercises to be a bit 'fluffy' and not quite for me, but I think that's okay, and once you get past that section the 85%+ left of the book picks right back up.
She seemed to spend a little too much time emphasizing her belief that certain functions of the mind are hardwired from our stone age ancestors in the early chapters. I didn't think it was too relevant or necessarily an agreeable notion. It might have been filler to make the book a bit longer, but the book stands on its own without it.
I believe this book is a good read for both personal and professional aspirations.
Certain character traits which we regard as ingrained can actually be worked on and improved with some thought and application.
I was quite fascinated with the deep practical psychology explained and applied.
Most recent customer reviews
A great book for getting along in all most all life situations.