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Want to Be More Charismatic? Know When to Be Congruent — and When Not to Be

Read the modified transcript to “Want to Be More Charismatic” below:

Hi, I’m Michael Grinder.

We talk a lot about, but we never get to how to become charismatic. I want to give you a how-to.

The first thing we want to talk about in terms of how do you become charismatic?

You’ve got to become congruent.

What do we mean by that? Well, if you look here, this talks about the four sets of nonverbals that make up all communication.

  • The first one is for the V [verbal], facial expressiveness, eye contact, looking without making eye contact.
  • The A stands for auditory, all of your voice patterns, your credibility, your approachability.
  • The K stands for kinesthetic, you know it as body language. Palm up palm down, leaning forward, leaning back. Those are all important, even weight distribution.
  • Last one, most important one, [the B] breathing, gotta be relaxed, gotta be relaxed.

Now, what’s an example of being congruent?

Well, if I’m gonna say something on a verbal level such as, “this is important.” But if I say, “this is important,” and my hands come back down, compared with, “this is important”.

Anytime it can take what my face looks like, what my voice sounds like, how my body is, and my breathing, and I’m congruent on that, people see me as more charismatic.

The very first starting point of being charismatic, be congruent.

We want to talk some more about the idea of how to become charismatic.

You’ve got to make sure that you have to be congruent first. Make sure your voice matches with whatever your body is doing and whatever your face looks like.

But once you have that — this may sound funny and strange — if you’re going to really get good, you have to be systematically incongruent. What do I mean by that?

Folks, if you’re saying positive things you want to make sure you smile as you say them.

But what if you have to say a negative thing? You may want to find that your voice can not be congruent with what your message is if it’s a negative thing.

If you have ever flown on an airplane, you know those pilots, they’re trained to be systematically incongruent. Can you imagine a pilot coming on and saying something like this, “Oh my goodness, this is really bad! This is really bad, better tell the passengers.” No, no, no, they’re trained to be very calm when they’re saying really difficult things.

Give you an example, the last test that a pilot takes for most airlines is that the people that are going to certify the person or not, they have to be in another room. You don’t get to see the pilot, if you’re the test person. You have to listen to them. Can they say very calmly, “Fasten your seat belts, we have some turbulence ahead.”? How do you do that?

You train yourself not to feel, which is breathing, whenever you’re in a difficult situation.

Even as a communicator, as a manager, sometimes they have to have a team get together and say such things as, “You see the next quarter, we have some tough targets to match. We have some tough targets to match.” But that’s all we’ve said with systematic incongruency.

Watch if I was congruent, “Have you seen the calendar? Have you seen next quarter? We got a lot of things to match. It’s gonna be tough, it’s gonna be tough, okay? Work hard, work hard, good get team.”

So the second skill of how to become systematically inconsistent, leads you to be seen as being charismatic.

If it’s difficult, systematically inconsistent, if it’s positive, be systematic.

From the series How to Be More Charismatic.

Thanks for reading! For more information on how to be more charismatic, sign up for our monthly nonverbal communication tips newsletter.

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