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The Power of Powerless Communication: How to Influence Others Softly

Stashed in: #TED, Influence!, XX, Give and Take, Communication, Communication

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"I did not know much about Bachelet, except that she is the first female president of her country. While waiting, I was picturing her as a forceful, powerful iron lady. Instead, she appeared on stage as more of a mother-like figure, smiling and waving at the audience. 

 During her talk, Bachelet was soft-spoken and humorous.  Once in a while, she would ask the audience members for help translating Spanish words into English. She kept us engaged and made us laugh. At one point, I could not help uttering, “I like her.” My neighbors nodded in agreement. I wonder, what makes Bachelet so likeable? Her status? Her power? Neither. Instead of holding tight to her status, she was, in fact, letting go of her power by seeking help from the audience, and this is exactly why she was so warmly welcomed with such applause. This might sound counterintuitive. Aren’t presence and charisma conveyed through strong, assertive, and dominant mannerisms and words? Often yes, but not always."

I enjoyed this article, as we discussed here:

Adam Grant's discussion of powerless communication is quite relevant:

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