Charisma: Seven Keys to Developing the Magnetism that Leads to Success


Put simply, charisma is what makes people like you — even when they don't know you. It's that special magic that gives the super-successful the ability to influence and persuade others. Do you have to be born with it? Definitely not, says Tony Alessandra, Ph.D., one of the most respected leadership motivators today. Whether you're a CEO or a clerk, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a store manager or a member of the PTA, charisma is something that can be learned, and learned fast....

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Put simply, charisma is what makes people like you — even when they don't know you. It's that special magic that gives the super-successful the ability to influence and persuade others. Do you have to be born with it? Definitely not, says Tony Alessandra, Ph.D., one of the most respected leadership motivators today. Whether you're a CEO or a clerk, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a store manager or a member of the PTA, charisma is something that can be learned, and learned fast.

Using self-quizzes and examples of charisma in action, Alessandra demystifies the concept of charisma, defines its seven key components, and offers a step-by-step program in "charisma basics" that shows you how to:
— Make first impressions powerful and positive
— Master the art of public speaking
— Develop the six essential skills of dynamic listening
— Jump-start your persuasive powers using four simple steps
— Harness the vital resources of time and space
— Motivate others by recognizing and adapting to,the four core personality types
— Create and communicate your vision, your ideas, your products.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446675987
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/1/2000
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 842,479
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Read an Excerpt


By Tony Alessandra

Warner Books

Copyright © 1998

Tony Alessandra
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-67598-9



You walk into a room and soon notice an animated conversation
among a knot of several people. You're attracted to their energy and
start to join them. Then you see that one fellow has already turned
and is now talking to someone else. The original group drifts apart,
and that one man again quickly becomes the center of yet another
high-energy group. On and on, throughout the evening, you watch him
effortlessly pull others to him like moths to a flame.

What is it about this man that attracts others so readily? How,
without seeming to try, does he always end up as the center of

Or, at work, two managers with equal training and experience are
put in charge of similar group tasks. But the results differ
drastically. One task force flounders and misses a critical
deadline. The other quickly meshes as a team and produces a report
so stunning that the breadth, depth' and clarity of its ideas has
everyone talking.

Why does one manager succeed, while her colleague fails to connect
with his people? Why does one need to check and recheck his
subordinates' work constantly, while the other manager just points
her people in the right direction andthey take off?

Those successful people aren't just lucky. What the engaging
conversationalist and the superbly effective manager have in common
is enormous charisma. But this is not an effortless gift from the
gods, not necessarily something they were born with.

Instead, it's a constellation of social skills, or tools.
Collectively, these qualities are sometimes also referred to as
personal magnetism. You may not know it, but those qualities, those
tools, are within you, too, just waiting to be developed, to be

And the wonderful thing about using these skills is that they make
you powerful without making others less so. That's because the kind
of power I'm talking about is interpersonal influence-not the power
of potentates, or generals, or other autocrats to order things to
happen. Instead, I'm talking about the power to be effective with
people. I'm talking about acquisition of power through interpersonal
means, appropriate means, means that don't take power away from
others but give you and them the power to achieve favorable


But, on the other hand, nothing good comes easily. And while you
have latent charisma, developing it isn't automatic. You must be
motivated and prepared to spend the time and make the effort to
sharpen your skills.

I've spent years studying why and how some people are viewed as more
charismatic than others. This book, using examples both famous and
obscure, will explain and illustrate what I believe are the most
common skills of charismatic people. More important, I'm going to
give you many, many suggestions on ways to develop your charisma.

First, we'll explore charisma as a whole. What are its basic
ingredients? Where does the concept come from? Why is there so much
confusion about it?

Then, before getting into the skills themselves, we'll speculate on
why charisma is more important now than ever before. You'll see how
true personal magnetism emanates from within you, not from your
title or whether you have a corner office, not from the size of your
desk or the size of your salary.

Of course, to have great personal magnetism, you must be an able
communicator. How to improve your skills in:




Adapting to others

But communication is more than just what you say or how you say it.
We communicate in many less obvious ways, too. You'll also learn how

Send out the best "silent message," or image

Use space and time to your advantage

Expand your vision and ideas

In addition to the many suggestions and examples, you'll find at the
end of each chapter another ten ideas for "jump-starting" that
particular skill. And, finally, "A Last Nudge toward Being the Best
You Can Be," will offer yet another ten specific ways you can
maximize your charisma.

Throughout the book, you'll also be urged to get other people to
tell you what they think about you. That's because there's often a
gap between how we see ourselves and how others see us. You might,
for example, give yourself a fairly low mark as a speaker because
you know you're nervous when you give a talk. On the other hand,
your audience might think you're a fine presenter. (Of course,
there's always the possibility of the opposite, too: You might think
you're terrific, while most everyone thinks you're a bore!)

It will be important that you ask others for feedback. And those
need to be the right people, people whotll tell you the truth.
You'll be looking for feedback that will add to, you might say, a
360-degree picture of yourself. So you'll need to ask for feedback
from those who know you at work, at home, on the tennis court, or
wherever you're mingling with others. Make sure each individual is
not only candid, but also familiar with your behavior in that
situation. For instance, you wouldn't ask your mother about your
speaking ability in a business meeting, unless she were on the board
of directors-and maybe not even then!

In short, this is a book designed to maximize your effectiveness,
whether you're a CEO or a clerk, an engineer or an apprentice. We
all need these skills because they help build trust and commitment.
And trust and commitment are the bedrock of every successful
endeavor. Without them, organizations don't function well,
coalitions don't get built, collaborations don't occur, opinions and
attitudes don't get changed, and careers rarely take off.

In any case, welcome aboard! Whatever your current level of
charisma, if you'd really like to improve it, you've come to the
right place.


Excerpted from Charisma
by Tony Alessandra
Copyright © 1998 by Tony Alessandra.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Preface: Everyone Can Have Charisma if Only 1
Part I The Foundations of Charisma
Chapter 1 Charisma: What Is It? What Will It Do For You? 9
Chapter 2 Why Charisma Is More Important Than Ever 31
Part II The Seven Keys To Becoming More Charismatic
Chapter 3 Sending Out Your Best Silent Message (Including Jump-Starting Your Way to a Better Image--and a Quick Quiz) 47
Chapter 4 Speaking With Authority (Including Jump-Starting Your Public-Speaking Skills--and a Quick Quiz) 81
Chapter 5 Listening Attentively (Including Jump-Starting Your Listening Skills--and a Quick Quiz) 113
Chapter 6 Becoming More Persuasive (Including Jump-Starting Your Power of Persuasion--and a Quick Quiz) 139
Chapter 7 Using Space and Time to Your Advantage (Including Jump-Starting Your Effective Use of Territory--and a Quick Quiz) 165
Chapter 8 Maximizing Your Adaptability (Including Jump-Starting Your Compatibility--and a Quick Quiz) 193
Chapter 9 Expanding Your Vision and Ideas (Including Jump-Starting Your Sense of Vision--and a Quick Quiz) 231
Part III Putting Your Newfound Charisma to Work
Chapter 10 A Last Nudge Toward Being the Best You Can Be 259
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2002

    Highly Recommended!

    Tony Alessandra focuses on how to build your charisma by analyzing the seven elements that comprise it: your silent message, speaking ability, listening skills, persuasive talent, use of time and space, adaptability, and vision. He provides a short quiz you can complete at the beginning of each chapter to identify easily which areas of your charisma need work. Allessandra believes that you don¿t have to be born with charisma, that anyone can increase his or her level of charisma. He demystifies it in this clearly focused, very readable book. Alessandra probably could write complete books on each of charisma¿s seven keys. In fact, the section on adaptability is essentially a summary of a book he co-authored, The Platinum Rule. But instead of seven volumes, here is one well-edited book packed full of content. We from getAbstract recommend this book to people who want to improve their charisma, or to understand the tangible aspects of this intangible quality.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2001

    All the secrets--in one book!

    Over the years, I have read countless books and articles, listened to tapes, and watched videos to learn the secrets to success. I've sat through seminars, workshops, speeches, and classes hoping to pick up one more little gem of an idea to improve my effectiveness. In Charisma, Tony Alessandra has pulled all of that knowledge together in one place. After many years in business, and a whole lot of learning about how to be successful in sales, management, and life, I recognized quite a bit of the contents of this volume. I really enjoyed the refresher and reinforcement . . . and I picked up some new advice that I'd missed along the way. The book starts, appropriately with an introduction to Charisma: 'the ability to positively influence others by connecting with them physically, emotionally, and intellectually.' From the introductory chapters, Alessandra takes us on a journey through seven fully-loaded chapters spilling over with the secrets of how to fashion and hone that influencing ability. To enable you to see the framework of this tool kit, I'll list the chapters. Sending Out Your Best Silent Message, Speaking with Authority, Listening Attentively, Becoming More Persuasive, Using Space and Time to Your Advantage, Maximizing Your Adaptability, and Expanding Your Vision and Ideas. As a reader, you'll find yourself asking your author-mentor how he learned all this stuff! Wow! Your respect and admiration will grow, followed by appreciation as you put the many principles to work and start seeing results. This book should be required reading for every salesperson, every high school senior, every young person starting out on a career. People who have been around for a while, but who have not yet achieved the success they desire, will also benefit greatly from this guidebook. The continual flow of advice and wisdom is interrupted by a self-test in every chapter. You'll be able to see yourself grow page by page. Hint to make this a better world: Parents, buy this book for your kids. PS: Alessandra is also author of The Platinum Rule. Read that one next!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2010

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