26 AUGUST 2022 WorldWide Drilling Resource® The Un-Comfort Zone II by Robert Evans Wilson, Jr. Surprise: Charisma is a Skill, not a Gift! My mother was charismatic, but she wasn’t always so. It was something she developed over decades. As a young adult, she was fairly insecure and would say things like, “I grew up on the wrong side of the railroad tracks.” Perhaps it was that background that motivated her, but she was determined to improve her lot in life. She was also quite religious. When my father was dying of kidney failure, she prayed for a miracle. I previously wrote in this column that because of her habit of reading, she came across an article about the physicians in Boston who were performing the world’s first organ transplants on kidneys. After reading the article, she contacted those doctors, who accepted my father into their program and saved his life. My mother interpreted her finding the article as an answer to prayer which led her to become more spiritual than religious. Over time, my mother became involved with a national spiritual study group and rose to the top leadership position. As the president of this organization, her charisma fully blossomed. By making speeches and guest appearances on radio shows around the country, she grew the membership substantially. She had a host of followers, and I got to witness my mother’s best self. It was an exciting time for my family. Charisma comes from the Greek word for grace or charm. Here’s a definition from the Free Dictionary: 1. a special quality conferring extraordinary powers of leadership and the ability to inspire veneration. 2. a personal magnetism that enables an individual to attract or influence people. I would never call myself charismatic, but learned several techniques from my mother that I was able to use in leading many organizations myself. I learned communication skills are key. Charisma is all about having exceptional communication skills. This does not mean you have to be a brilliant orator; many charismatic people do their best communicating, and influencing, one-on-one. Good communicators are able to share the same opinions and beliefs as their audience, which endears them to those listening. They are adept at recognizing and acknowledging the desires and goals of the group. This is what makes them trusted leaders. They exude their enthusiasm, which can be infectious. On the other hand, if you do not share the same opinions and beliefs as a leader who is attempting to persuade you, they will not seem charismatic, but will sound like a raving lunatic instead (several politicians come to mind). Charismatics are welcoming people-persons who can find commonality with just about anyone. They are outstanding at sharing the emotions and values of the people around them. This is primarily what makes them so popular. They do this so well because they are attentive listeners, who have empathy and emotional intelligence; they hear what people say and respond in a manner that lets the person talk- Wilson cont’d on page 40.