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Hacking Charisma 242

An anonymous reader writes: "Steve Jobs had it. George Clooney has it. So does Don Draper. Charisma is intangible but powerful: the personality trait that's used to win friends and influence people. Olivia Fox Cabane wasn't born with it. She was a high-school outcast, a socially awkward teenager baffled by the nuance of social interactions. But she was also an analytical thinker. She believes she has reverse engineered the secret of charm, and is so successful that executives now pay her to do the same for them. Cabane's self-help spiel comes with a dose of science. In this article, Teresa Chin examines the science of charisma, and asks why exactly Silicon Valley needs a charisma coach in the first place."
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Hacking Charisma

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  • Bah! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @08:45AM (#46591837)
    I want more honest, nerdy and deeply technical guys. Types like Tim Sweeney []. We have enough superficial bullshit-speakers already.
  • by VorpalRodent ( 964940 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @08:52AM (#46591875)
    You joke, but that was my first thought when I read this gem about 2/3's of the way down:

    Her executives are tutored in techniques like “responsibility transfer” [...] and “rewriting reality,” which involves undoing the anguish of a painful experience by coming up with alternative scenarios that transform the event from distressing to excusable.

  • Funny thing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @09:33AM (#46592107) Homepage
    Isn't it odd when "learned charisma" like this is presented as fact as long as it is used for business purposes, but when the exact same techniques are used by dorky men to get girls, this "learned charisma" is decried as false and a total lie. The things that make you go hmm...
  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @10:20AM (#46592473)

    If you need to resist it, you have already failed, as it had already affected you.

    In short, we live in a world which people have an increasing voice in the world. This post alone will probably be read in many countries. Most likely this post will last only a few seconds in your memory and go away.

    Now resisting charisma will require more work, because we have so much more information static in our lives and really not to many good ways to filter out a nonsense such as an internet post while someone is taking a break from work, vs. some more valuable information.

    Now charisma, is by no means perfect it does show that the person really seems to really care about the information they state vs. the normal static. Thus we naturally will give it more attention. Sure this information can be complete B.S. but they have gave it in a way to get your attention. They got your attention you listen to what they said, then you will need to make a decision to accept or reject that idea. a 50/50 shot! However if you lack charisma your views will be ignored and washed away from the static, and there is no decision to accept or reject that information because it never got your attention.

  • Black Magic. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @12:39PM (#46593733) Journal

    otherwise known as "learning sociopathic manipulation"?

    An occultist I knew (now on the "other side", unfortunately) considered charisma to be a form of Black Magic: mind control of others to get them to do things for the charismatic that would not be their reasoned choice and might be enormously harymful to their own interests.

    Having said that, it's clear that a lot of nerds are so far at the other end of this arms race that they need substantial help to be able to hold their ground against the Pointy Haired among the boss class. It's refreshing to find that it is learnable, and that nerd/tech techniques can be applied to understanding and controlling it.

    Look out world: After a few years of application of the psychological equivalent Moore's Law, you might see an explosion of technocrats from the tech incubator enclaves like Silicon Valley.

    And look out techies: If the above meme starts circulating among the current powers that be, you might see a burst of government interventioin in and suppression of the tech enclaves.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.