Grace Under Fire

When he said it, it struck deep like a sword on fire.

Youre such a wimp.

Me. A wimp. Me, who has paddled thousands of miles in Canadian wilderness. Me, who has led a six-week canoe trip in remote Ontario. Me, who has planted trees in rugged, isolated camps for weeks on end, living in a tent. This was years ago when I was a young woman discovering the world. I was perhaps naïve.

But I was no wimp.

I felt the rage and indignant fury swell within me. I just seethed, turned to him and said, I. Am Not. A. Wimp.

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How much real influence do you have?

In her book “The Charisma Myth – Master the Art of Personal Magnetism”, Olivia Fox Cabane contends that “charisma is a skill you can learn and practice.”

Certainly there are skills that can be developed that help us be more present, more focused, more considerate, more engaging. These make us more attractive to others.

Robert B. Cialdini says in his classic book, “Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion” says that these skills can turn influence to selfish ends. By using social norms and unconscious bias, we can make people buy things they don’t really want, vote for ‘popular’ candidates that don’t truly match our values, and even persuade otherwise good samaritans to perform heinous acts of torture.

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