Congratulations, you’ve just achieved a lifelong ambition and received 00 agent status. Your hard work, dedication, and ingenuity have not gone unnoticed by your boss M and rest of the leadership of the British Secret Service.
The good news is you are battle-hardened and ready to tackle any number of dangerous assignments.
- Infiltrate an international crime syndicate? Check.
- Uncover a terrorist cell? Done.
- Stop a military coup? Bring it on.
The bad news is, for your first mission none of this really matters. Instead, you will face a mission of unimaginable difficulty — navigate and succeed in Corporate America! You have heard from your fellow agents across the pond that in the history of the world, few organizations have been more complex and opaque. On top of that, it will take all the willpower you have when you go undercover as an American employee to say “zee” instead of “zed” and change all your s’s to z’s.
In order to accomplish your mission, you will need to gain the trust and support of several influential people in the organization. The problem is you’ve spent so much time training for combat that your interpersonal skills leave a lot to be desired. You have just seven days to learn everything you need to to tackle this mission or it will be the sharks (the kind with lasers on their heads) for you!
What would you do? Where would you even begin? And is it even possible to learn in just seven short days what others have not been able to do in seven long years or more?
Up against it, you do what all the 00 agents that have preceded you have done before embarking on a difficult mission. You consult with Q, who provides all the gadgets a secret agent could possibly need. Except this time instead of handing you a watch that turns into a saw, he hands you a top secret Charisma manual. As luck would have it, it only requires seven days to complete. He guarantees that if you complete the training, you will have unnatural levels of Charisma within a week.
It’s no time to die, so let’s begin.
Begin each day by memorizing the following ground-breaking definition that reveals how Charisma is actually generated:
Charisma is the ability to sense, and ultimately deliver, exactly what is most needed from an emotional perspective in a given moment.
Then, follow the training regimen for each day and practice your skills to upgrade your Charisma so that you can successfully complete your mission with style.
Day 1: Intelligence Gathering
Sensing the emotions of others is less about what you do and more about your state of being. In order to heighten your ability to sense what is going on with others you will need to execute the 3 C’s and be Calm, Cool and Connected.
Step 1. Be Calm
When you are overloaded by stress, this triggers your Fight or Flight mode. When responding this way, by design your focus narrows to only what is needed to survive and blocks out all other information. In this state you cannot sense your counterpart’s emotions.
When you remain calm, this state is your Rest and Digest mode. When responding this way, your body and mind are relaxed and balanced. This increases your ability to sense your counterpart’s emotions and pick up on any nuances.
To enter this state, focus on your breathing and make your exhale longer than your inhale. A simple way to do this is count the seconds you inhale and then double it for your exhale. For example inhale 2 seconds, exhale 4 seconds.
Step 2. Be Cool
Like cool water is clear and transparent, a cool mind allows you to see and sense more clearly. A cool mind means your attention is focused on what is happening right in front of you and nothing else. The challenge to achieving this state is in most any interaction, our mind uses filters of past experience and future anxieties to color what is happening in the present. If you allow yourself to get hijacked by the past or future, your mind can no longer clearly perceive what is going on right in front of you.
Remember when someone made a comment you thought was about you? Remember how you worried about it for a long time, before realizing that it had nothing to do with you at all? When you are cool you just deal with what is right in front of you and don’t let the baggage of the past or the anxieties of the future color your perception.
When your counterpart is talking, resist the tendency to make assumptions and judgments.
Step 3. Be Connected
In order to really understand a person’s emotions, you need to stay connected to them. The best way to do this is to be genuinely curious about them. The reason this is a challenge is we often feel we know everything already and lose interest prematurely. By doing this, we miss the wealth of information being offered that can help us more deeply understand our counterpart’s emotions.
One way you can leverage curiosity is by trying to figure out what it is your counterpart is broadcasting. Everybody, consciously or not, is broadcasting something about themselves that they want other people to know. It might be their favorite hobby, organization, or person. It might be their least favorite person or thing. By focusing on figuring out what this is, you will be able to gain a better sense of your counterpart’s emotional state.
Practice: When you meet someone, try to figure out what they are broadcasting and engage with them on it. Whether you were right or wrong, keep the conversation going.
Rest up 007 and prepare for more training tomorrow!
Click here to find the rest of the Training Manual.