How to be more charismatic
It's clear that some people are more naturally persuasive than others. We sometimes call this 'charisma'. These 'charismatics' are better able to persuade and convince other people and to have their suggestions accepted. It's the charismatic people who determine the mood of the social encounter.
When we study hypnosis we are really studying persuasion. When you know how to be truly charismatic in your communication, you can even persuade someone's unconscious mind to slow down bleeding, heal more rapidly or remove warts – simply through the effectiveness of your communication. So a good hypnotist will know how to use charismatic communication as part of what they do. And, conversely, a naturally charismatic person will also be naturally more hypnotic whether they, themselves, know it or not.
But what exactly do we mean by 'charisma'? Well, when we have, say, two people sitting down together, we have an exchange of emotion or mood. Some people are naturally better at passing on their emotional state; their mood, to others. These people are more 'emotionally infectious', meaning they are more expressive with their voice, their facial expressions and bodily gestures. It's been shown that highly charismatic people actually use more muscles in their face. So this emotional infectiousness is really what charisma is. A charismatic hypnotherapist will knowingly lead someone else's mood towards therapeutic bene-fit.
Think about it. Some people are seductive. I don't just mean sexually seductive, although that is a form of charismatic mood leading; I mean they seduce you with their ideas and lead the emotional temperature of any encounter. They seduce you into their world view. After you've been in their presence you actually feel different. Great sales people, actors and musicians and religious and political leaders know how to do this. They naturally know how to lead your mood.
In an astonishing piece of research a psychologist called Howard Friedman devised a test to gauge charisma levels. Questions included how loud you tend to laugh, whether you confidently flirt, whether you find it hard not to tap your toes to the sound of good music and so forth. The very top scorers gained 117 points, with the average score around 71 points.
Friedman then conducted a fascinating experiment. He picked a few dozen people who had scored very high on the test, above 90 points, and a few dozen who had scored very low, below 60 points. They were all asked to fill out a questionnaire measuring how they felt at that instant.
He then put all the high scorers in separate rooms and paired each of them with low scorers. Picture this: They were to sit in the room together for two minutes. The high charismatic and the low charismatic could look at each other, but not talk. When the two minutes were over, they were both asked again to fill out a detailed questionnaire about how they were feeling.
Incredibly, what the researchers found was that after just two minutes without even speaking the low charismatic always picked up the mood of the high charismatic. So if at the start of the two minutes the highly emotionally infectious person felt depressed, while the low charisma person felt happy, by the end of those 120 seconds the low charismatic would feel depressed as well!
If the highly charismatic person started off feeling happy and the low person was depressed, then again they'd be infected by the high charismatic's happy mood (and remember, no talking was allowed) and the low charismatic would then feel happier as well.
So the highly expressive naturally charismatic people always led the mood and passed on their mood to the less-expressive low charismatic. But it never worked the other way. The non-expressive, low charismatic people never led the mood during those two minutes - only the high charismatics or 'emotional infectors' could do this! Imagine the influence we can achieve just by learning to be more charismatic.
So how do these high charismatics hypnotize the low charismatics in just two minutes without talking, changing the mood of the other person just by being in the same room?
When human communication has been filmed and then studied frame by frame, it's been shown that there is an incredible harmony of movement – a sort of subconscious dance. I smile... and a split second later you smile... this can be so quick that it appears we smile at the same time, and it is entirely unconscious. I emphasize something with a hand gesture... you make a minimal movement with another hand almost simultaneously. This is called being 'in rapport'.
Therapists or sales people learning about rapport generally focus on three things. They learn about mirroring, matching and leading. To mirror someone, you basically copy what they do. They cross their legs, you cross yours. This can seem over obvious, so you might 'match' instead of 'mirroring'. For example, if they tap their foot, you might tap your finger – this is still an echo of their behavior, giving the impression that you are 'like them'. And when people are 'like us', we feel in rapport with them.
Once rapport is established, we can 'lead' the person, and expect them to unconsciously follow us. We relax back in the chair and, if rapport is there, a spilt second later, they stretch back also. We are now leading their behavior. But Friedman's research puts a new spin on this. His research shows that some people are natural 'transmitters' of emotion and some people are 'receivers' – regardless of whether rapport has been established. Remember, in his experiment, these two people together in the room didn't know each other and didn't speak.
Maybe what is happening is that naturally charismatic people establish rapport unconsciously – maybe they can't help doing it. This then enables them to lead, thereby establishing the charismatic advantage.
Other ways to match and then lead are speaking at the same rate, using similar words and feeding back what your conversational partner says (so they feel listened to) before offering a suggestion and leading them. But if I smile in response to your smile... it's not just that we have rapport with each other, it's also that you have infected me with your contagious emotion. As you now know, charismatic people are emotionally contagious.
I might consciously think I am happy or amused, and that is why I have smiled, but it's equally true to say that happiness, fear, anger and depression can leap from one person to another like an infectious virus. And some people are very emotionally infectious - this is really what we mean by charismatic. If you can control this process then you can determine how you are going to influence and lead someone else's mood.
When we teach people how to hypnotize, we are really teaching them how to be more influential. This means teaching them how better to transmit mood, ideas and beliefs to others. So, in effect, we are teaching them to be more charismatic. A charismatic person knows how to appeal to your unconscious mind as well as your conscious mind.
One way to do this in hypnosis is to use what we call 'splitting'. When you communicate with another person you communicate to their conscious mind but also to their unconscious mind. And. what's more. you know which part you are communicating with at any given point.
If you make someone laugh when you speak to them then your communication appealed to their unconscious mind - which produces the laugh - as well as their conscious mind. The more aware you are of which bit of a person you are attempting to influence, the better able you are to influence. For example, if I say to you: 'Lift your arm up!' I am speaking to your conscious mind. If, however I say: 'Now in a moment you might just like to... notice that arm becoming a little lighter...' then I am asking your unconscious mind to do something. I am splitting your awareness because I am suggesting your conscious mind notice something your unconscious mind is doing.
Now I'm going give you an example of how I might use voice and language to sometimes appeal to your conscious mind and sometimes to your unconscious mind. As you read these words, you'll notice that some are emphasized. If you were listening to this, I would be speaking in a softer, lower voice at those points. You'll notice that I also use ellipses to indicate a slight pause. You can read it aloud to yourself slowly, following that guideline. As you read, think about which part of your mind I am directing attention to and also how you can make your communication more influential or charismatic in future by 'splitting' people when you communicate.
'You know your conscious mind can do many things but many other things are taken care of by your unconscious mind. For example, you don't know how to grow fingernails consciously... but your unconscious mind can do these things... and it's your unconscious mind that knows how it feels to be about to bite into an apple...what it feels like to look at an apple and... feel that apple in your hand... and be about to crunch into it... because you can imagine that... now...and sometimes... your mind lets you salivate just at the thought...
You don't consciously dream... but your unconscious mind knows exactly how to creatively put together a dream for you as you...sleep deeply at night...and the unconscious part is the part I am talking to right now when I talk about the sights and sounds and sensations you have when you... dream deeply...what it's like to see the sea... what spray looks like in your mind's eye when it crashes off sea front rocks...
Your conscious mind doesn't monitor the sensations of each little toe... but your unconscious mind is always monitoring sensations beyond conscious awareness... and can give you a sense of your little toe right now...and a little warmth in that toe...
And it's your unconscious mind that... lets you really... begin to relax deeply...because when that part of your mind beyond logic and thought knows how to... relax those muscles in those legs...and arms can relax too...sometimes the tops of the arms first or sometimes up from the fingertips...with comfort and rest spreading up the wrists...and forearms and biceps and triceps......and your conscious mind knows about different types of weather... but it's your unconscious mind... right now... that can re-evoke the sensation of a warm breeze on your face... and what that actually feels like...because consciously you know about those moments before you...drift off to sleep... but it's your unconscious mind that gives you those really sleepy feelings of relaxation just before you actually fall asleep...
A child can scribble and draw with no thought to the finished image... totally absorbed and focused and at one with the paper and the crayon... forgetting to think about outside surroundings; past and future disappearing as they merge with the lines and squiggles... and that initial universal impulse to create... those ancient pre-historical cave paintings... discovering musical notes... as if the universe holds music and art and science deep within itself... like blackberry seeds that grow and flourish through time... till at last the right person at the right time can discover them... and pluck them...and the artist at the easel plucks images and ideas from that part of themselves... which creates...
So you'll notice that even as your conscious mind focuses and learns and thinks and analyses that your unconscious mind will begin to produce more creative solutions for you in day to day life...'
Now you can see that I was communicating with the part of your mind that is logical some of the time - your conscious mind - but I was also evoking actual experience, which is always an appeal to your unconscious mind. If you ever cringe because I have told you about something painful, or laugh because I have told you something funny, then my communication has been more influential because these responses are emotional rather than just logical, and are generated by your unconscious mind. If you experienced any images at all just now while you were reading, however fleeting, or any other physical sensations, however slight, from my words, then some of my communication worked on your unconscious mind.
If we were face to face then my eyes, facial expressions and body language would all be able to communicate to your unconscious mind. Limited to the written word, I must rely on my choice of words and how it is laid out on the page to appeal to your unconscious. I really want you, as a result of reading this, to think about how you communicate and be mindful of when your communication is meant to appeal consciously or unconsciously to another person.
When we seek to hypnotize someone to remove a phobia or to enable them to quit drinking too much alcohol, we have to be as influential as possible - we have to lead their focus of attention and emotional state. By learning the skills of hypnosis, such as those in the free hypnosis course at Hypnosis Downloads.com, working on the way you communicate and honing your expressiveness (both verbal and non-verbal) you can become a transmitter and leader of emotion.
Or, in other words, you can become more charismatic.
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