Before we delve deep into the heart of leadership this coming Tuesday at the Dwelling Speaker Night, let’s pause for a little while to reflect upon the previous fireside that happened two weeks ago!
The start of July marked the end of our Dwelling Charisma series, with our last cosy discussion on attractiveness and its relationship to you. Again when we split into our separate groups, the conversation spiralled in many different directions, almost too varied to count! The mystery of conversation probably lies in how each different combination of friends, gathered around a friendly fire (in cave side times) or a bucket of questions (a la Dwelling-style), opens up an opportunity for sharing that is always unexpected, and always different.
At one table, the conversation started with members of the group noticing how easy it was to be charismatic with people we're comfortable with, but if a group is unfamiliar we'd have a tendency to shy away. So how can we be more consistent?
Recalling an experience of his trip to Germany, Sean discovered that he valued meaningful conversations and tended to engage more with similar people. The rest of the group resonated, and shared about how we couldn't be bothered with meaningless banter about manicures and what brand of milk powder was best for babies. Yet, it takes being able to strike up a conversation about common topics and being able to join someone else in their interest to break the ice.
Similarly, Theresa, who joined our Dwelling session for the first time, shared about how she had met her former students recently and found it difficult to relate to them outside the context of her teacher-student relationship. Familiar, isn't it? We meet an old school friend and all we talk about is... well, school. Time to update some of our relationships and get the joy of rediscovering them.
Sarah spoke in admiration of a colleague who is able to deliver presentations charismatically and engage the audience. What is it that makes such people attractive?
Julia asked if everyone notices how charismatic people often don't engage in their own self-interest as they interact with you, and are instead interested in you, often making you more significant than themselves. It takes one to have their needs met to be genuinely able to do that. Hence, charisma as a conversation appears after a person has attained a certain degree of freedom. This does make most of us feel somewhat lacking, but it also presents an opportunity for us to grow into.
Other tables focused on more technical aspects of charisma, such as understanding the theme through the structure of PIE (which stands for the physical, intellectual and emotional bodies of a person). Who are you, and what parts of yourself make you most attractive? Other conversations took the turn towards more specific questions, such as wondering about the charisma of followers. What makes someone attractive to another person of a higher social status or standing? As an employee or worker, how can you be charismatic with “higher ups” in order to attract good leaders to work with you? We concluded that certain qualities made a worker or junior attractive, and these pointed once more towards who a person was being, and what he or she could bring to the table in the relationship. Again, this pointed to the conclusion generated at the other table, which suggested that charisma stemmed first from one’s being interested in another person over their own self-interest. This finding may give us a hint as to why the grasp of charisma is often a precursor to the leadership journey!
Coming up on 15th July is the first of our Dwelling Leadership sessions. To join us in this new leg of our Dwelling journey, contact Ziqi at 9694 0841 to reserve your seat now.