I’m reading a book on personal magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane called The Charisma Myth. Its premise is that anyone can have charisma if they practice the right behaviors. What I like about the book is the author tells interesting stories to support her argument and backs it up with solid research.
One story in the book that I had heard before made me think about my charisma and the effect I have on others. Hopefully it can get you to think as well. The story involves William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli as they vied for the post of prime minister of the UK in 1886.
Right before the election both men took a young lady to dinner on separate occasions and she was asked what she thought of each candidate. She told reporters, “After dining with Mr. Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest person in England. But after dining with Mr. Disraeli, I thought I was the cleverest person in England.”
Isn’t that a great way to divide up the people in your life; those who spend all their time telling you how clever (funny, insightful, etc) they are, and those that make you feel that way? How about you? Do you make others feel like they had a meal with Gladstone or Disraeli?
Maybe it’s being extroverted versus introverted or maybe it’s a matter of emotional intelligence. Either way when it comes to charisma and personal magnetism it would seem it’s not always about us. And no one knew that better than the man who won that election, Mr. Disraeli.
For more on introversion (and extroversion) see:
For more on emotional intelligence see:
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