How Bill Clinton Hacked into Charisma
You CAN hack your way into the charisma field.
Listen to any person who’s met Bill Clinton. “It was like there was no one else in the room”, or “…like the whole world stood still”, people will say. Bill had a terrific ability to pull people into a ‘charisma energy field’ and keep them there. While some of his abilities were inborn, we’ve compiled a list of ways to hack that ability. Let’s examine how charisma affects us, and how it works on an unconscious level. Our very survival depends on our ability to identify people who can help us if we get into a life-threatening situation. We are hard wired to respond with trust, attention and focus when we meet a person who fits the bill.
The whole reason Ellipsis Behavior was founded, was to teach people how to see what’s going on inside someone, by looking at the outside. How we manage ourselves and our lives plays a powerful role in how people see us. What’s happening inside is displayed outside. People pick up on these subtle cues unconsciously, even if they’ve never studied behavior. Many times, the ‘feeling’ we get about a person comes from hundreds of small perceptions our brains have picked up about them without us even realizing it. Managing your life well makes these subtle cues trigger this charisma feeling in others, and The Ellipsis Manual has several chapters on how to completely master having this type of social authority.
One of the greatest leaders of all time was Maximus, who served under Marcus Aurelius. Read how Marcus Aurelius describes Maximus in the book ‘The Emperor’s Handbook’, written 121-180 AD.
“Maximus set an example of self-mastery, steadiness of purpose and good cheer that no circumstance, not even illness, could extinguish. He combined in beautiful measure gravity with charm and did whatever needed to be done without making a fuss. Everyone believed that what he said was what he thought and that he never acted with an intention to do harm or give offense. Nothing surprised or frightened him, and he never seemed to be in a hurry or slow to accomplish a task. He was neither intimidated or embarrassed on the one hand, nor aggressive or suspicious on the other. So giving, forgiving and loyal was he by nature that he appeared to be a man whose virtues were inborn rather than acquired. It is unimaginable that anyone ever felt superior or inferior around him, perhaps due to his pleasing sense of humor.”
This ‘self mastery’ that Marcus Aurelius describes is one of the cornerstones of Bill Clinton’s command of charisma, or what The Ellipsis Manual calls ‘attentional captivity’.
Let’s look at the 6 tricks you can use to create the same level of intensity in your interactions.
Focus is the quality that makes people feel like the only person in the room. Being genuinely interested and completely present when speaking with someone creates strong feelings of connection. In today’s time, it’s easier than ever to exploit this because we are so often distracted by our phones and environment that when someone isn’t distracted at all, it feels even more genuine and sincere. As Will Smith said in ‘Hitch’, “When you’re in the room, BE in the room.
Giving genuine compliments about a person’s personality creates connection. We tend to remember conversations where we were complimented about 800% more than ones where we weren't. The most common compliments people respond to are ones that pertain to a person’s authenticity, sincerity, intelligence and how they connect well to others.
Did you know you can make longer eye contact if your face appears happy and non-threatening? Smiling or looking curious while making eye contact allows you to keep it for longer than usual. The average length of solid eye contact before someone breaks it in the United States is about 7 seconds. This is about what you need to aim for. Prolonged eye contact even creates psychological wiring for intimacy and desire when it’s longer than normal. Starting with a 20-year old psychology study by Arthur Aron, they have proven time and again that prolonged eye contact can even make someone fall in love with you (reference below).
When listening to someone, asking them followup questions that paraphrase what they said demonstrates your focus and shows empathy. Some studies refer to this as ‘reflecting’ wherein you provide the speaker with an opportunity to hear their own thoughts and let them focus on how they feel. Doing this also encourages them to continue speaking and shows that you are trying to understand their view of the world.
If you want to be great at influence, and you can’t wake up on time or make your own bed, you’re going to ‘leak’ all of those qualities through your nonverbal channels. Yes, people will see them. Although many sites ridiculously claim to have tricks to bypass developing real self discipline, there’s no way you can control your nonverbal leakage, you have to get your life on track and become a master of yourself.
STEADINESS OF ACTION
Having a calm demeanor and being relaxed in your own skin is one of those automatic leadership triggers that people automatically respond to. Think of composure on one end of the spectrum, and anxiety on the other. Anxiety is the display of fast movements and nervousness that broadcasts you are not a leader to everyone in the room. Keep it cool.
The Ellipsis Manual has a complete guide to mastering authority and social obedience. The psychological loopholes are something you really can learn to master and use on a regular basis.