Charisma and Emotions

DSC_3033 smileEmotional expressiveness seems to be the major component of charisma. When other people can reflect our emotions, or show reactions to events that match our own, we are more likely to trust them.  In order to reflect another person’s emotions you need to have emotional sensitivity, or the ability to detect how someone else is feeling. Reading emotions is akin to feeling what others are feeling, but does not necessarily provide insight into what drives others into action. Understanding motives to act requires reading thought processes, which is a cognitive skill. Sensitivity to emotions, on the other hand is closely related to be empathy.

The ability to empathize may be more intuitive and innate than learned. Higher levels of empathy are connected with higher quantities of the hormone oxytocin  Higher levels of empathy also means higher level of anger against those that causing pain to the group whom is regarded with sympathy. The student of charisma can learn how to can learn how to engender empathy for one group in order to manipulate an outburst of hatred against an opposing group.

Emotional control is another important component of charisma. While emotional sensitivity allows you to read others emotions, even when they try to hide them, strong emotional control allows you to hide your own emotions. It enables you to appear calm to others, even when deep down inside you are panicking, by simply thinking of a situation in which you would be calm. The goal here is not to remain cold, aloof and uncaring in appearance, but to hide fear, distress, disgust etc. by masking them with another emotion. The key to emotional control is the ability enact emotions on cue when you do not want to be transparent. This kind of control can be taught, but not without learning emotional expressiveness also.

Social expressiveness, like emotional expressiveness, is a skill that can be learned. In fact the characteristics of charisma that involve learning the rules of society and how to play a role in society must be learned. However, some people seem to pick them up which less effort. These are people who pay more attention to people than things and processes. These are the people who are more likely to learn the unwritten rules of society or what society expects them to behave like as a leader. These people spend a great deal of their life observing how other behave and monitoring other’s reactions to one’s own behavior. Unfortunately these people who are high in the social aspects of charisma, tend to be not to be high in creativity or highly skilled in use of technology.

The request managers to be creative, tech savvy and charismatic, will only perpetuate the necessity of hiring them for one set of skills and teaching them another. Evidently, business leaders think it is easier to teach them emotional expressiveness, sensitivity and control.

Ronald E Riggio Ph.D., Cutting-Edge Leadership, What Is Your Charisma Quotient? Psychology Today, Sept 21, 2014
Body Language Of Empathy Is Genetically Wired Say Scientists Published: Wednesday 16 November 2011 at 2am PST
Paul Bloom, September 25, 2015 The Dark Side of Empathy
This entry was posted in Creativity, Emotional intelligence, Leadership, Manipulation, Persuasion. Bookmark the permalink.

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