Charisma

mitt keeperFrank Bruni’s editorial in yesterday’s NY Times touched on a fascinating subject. Why does Mitt fall so flat? He describes Romney as “missing magic” and the “gravitational pull” needed to create political momentum. Compare that to Obama, “W” and Clinton in prior elections. These three had serious magnetism.

Here’s an article from the American Psychological Association journal that frames out some of the physiological and behavioral science behind charisma. The thinking is that charismatic people have the following qualities:

  • High Emotional Intelligence that lets them build rich and rapid emotional connections
  • Ability to intuitively mimic the mannerisms and tone of those around them
  • Ability to speak and gesture in sympathetic cadence that captivates those around them
  • And, tellingly, the must do all this naturally/instinctively to have the proper effect – if it is forced, people see through it immediately

These concepts link nicely to current thinking about building strong brands – understand your target consumer and then weave a narrative around the brand concept that speaks in consumers’ natural language and to their needs. And, whatever you do, avoid being fake or inauthentic – they will sense it immediately and lock you out of their heart!

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