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What’s Charisma?

Charisma is the ability to attract and influence others with your ideas and communication style. There are many different types of charismatic people, and there is no moral component associated with this trait. This means that some charismatic people are quiet, graceful, and principle-centered like Jackie Kennedy, while others are much more extroverted, and self-centered like her husband JFK.

Some people with charisma are also exuberant like Oprah Winfrey, while others have a much more quiet, calm, and collected nature like Elon Musk.

Charisma is often said to be a subjective ineffable quality, something we either have or we don’t have.  Some attributes are confidence, passion for a topic or cause, optimistic, a ready smile, expressive body language, and a friendly voice. In other words, they reflect a person with high self-regard.

Is charisma an important attribute if you want to become a successful, relationship-based, health-centered dentist?

In a word – Yes.

But the origin of your charisma must come from an “other-centered” world view. This is to say, that if you use charisma as a strategy to get what you want from others, it isn’t going to work well for you in the long-run, as empathetic people can detect insincerity, and it will cause them to eventually steer away from you.

And believe me, empathy is both essential and a two-way street.

So, even if you are introverted like most dentists, you can still be charismatic if you present yourself and your information in a way that is other-centered, sincerely helping, and done in a give-before-you-receive manner.

Bob Barkley was charismatic, and L.D. Pankey was charismatic, along with F. Harold Wirth and Peter Dawson. All four had different personalities and communication styles, while at the same time all of them shared a love for others and a deep desire to help them.

Paul A. Henny, DDS

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