Think about this: Have you ever been superbly or sublimely persuasive? Was there ever a time when you communicated with someone or with many people and when you were clear, confident, and the consummate leader? Did people just feel compelled to follow you – happily?
Most humans can remember an experience like that at some point in our lives. Now, as you remember this, ask yourself – were you calm and confident while you were in that state or were you angry, anxious, or enraged?
Anger just doesn’t facilitate or accentuate persuasiveness. Anger is incompatible with confidence, leadership, and charisma. Anger subtly tells others that you are afraid or dangerous.
Anger neither builds true charisma or persuasive skill. Angry people can make us do things, but we are almost never happy about it and we look for ways of avoiding them in the future.
So if you want to become radically more persuasive and charismatic, take a tip from Ronald Regan, Bill Clinton, and the Dalai Lama (and not necessarily in that order).
I recently had the good fortune of seeing the Dalai Lama and I had the opportunity years ago to meet Ronald Regan. I am also lead to believe, by many who know him well, that Bill Clinton is also at his finest and most persuasive, when he is calm and charming as opposed to his angry and pushy modes.
Contrast for example, his finger wagging “I did not have sex with that woman!” with his many more charismatic moments of calm presidential love-ability.
Ronald Regan had a soothing manner – a calm – that was so persuasive, that we didn’t seem to mind hearing about it even when the news was very bad. For example, Regan once addressed the nation on the issue of Iran-Contra and managed to remain a very popular figure in the face of very bad news.
The Dalai Lama has been a leader in exile from his own country. He has seen his nation and his spiritual beliefs ravaged by the occupation of Tibet. Yet, he manages to bring joy to millions and has persuaded many people of various religious beliefs in the west to view Buddhism in a new way, to understand and to support the cause of Tibet, and to seek a better life of compassion for themselves and those around them.
So I return to my recurring theme of what to do and how to do it.
First: What to do?
To become more persuasive, means to become more a master of your anger. As your grandmother told you, “You’ll catch more flies with honey.” And science supports the view that anger creates anxiety in those around us. It conveys fear in the person expressing the anger and therefore, at some level a weakness. That is not a good foundation of being consistently persuasive and a great and effective communicator/leader.
Great. Less anger. Good advice. But we all have anger. So the real question is “How do I release or manage my anger to become more persuasive?”
And, there are techniques that are proven to work. Stay tuned for part two: Master Anger While Becoming Healthy, Wealthy and Wise
Photo Credit: abhikrama
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