Regaining charisma in stressful situations

Charisma seems like a fairy tale trait – something only for born leaders and presidents. But we all need it. Maybe it feels like we don’t have it. The secret is, it can be learned.

Today I wanted to share a 6 step plan for regaining charisma in stressful situations from Olivia Fox Cabane’s “The Charisma Myth”:

  1. Take a deep breath and shake out your body to ensure that no physical discomfort is adding to your tense mental state.
  2. De-dramatize. Remind yourself that these are just physical sensations. Right now, nothing serious is actually happening. This only feels uncomfortable because of the way your brain is wired. Zoom out of your focus to see yourself as one little person sitting in a room with certain chemicals flooding his system. Nothing more.
  3. De-stigmatize. Remind yourself that what you’re experiencing is normal and everyone goes through it from time to time. Imagine countless people all over the world feeling the exact same thing.
  4. Neutralize. Remind yourself that thoughts are not necessarily real. There have been many times when you’ve been certain that a client was disappointed, only to discover that the exact opposite was true.
  5. Consider a few alternate realities.
  6. Visualize a transfer of responsibility. Feel the weight of responsibility for the outcome of this situation lifting off your shoulders. Tell yourself it’s all taken care of.


Have you tried any of these techniques yourself? How did they work out for you?

Author: David Neely

Professional Software Developer. Technology and Web Coordinator at the University of Hawaii's Manoa Career Center.