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Can charisma overcome resistance towards training and development?


When learners exhibit negativity or resistance towards learning, it can be hard to break through this, but by using your natural charisma you can break down these walls to help them get results. 

18th Jun 2021
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Isn’t it a pleasure to facilitate or coach individuals who have an openness to want to learn and develop? The interaction becomes inspired with a chemistry that creates an effortless flow of exchange. It's very satisfying for the learner and very rewarding for the coach or facilitator. Unfortunately we will always encounter some people who are resistant, cynical, negative and bored.

When you experience negativity or resistance from your learner or trainee, rather than judge them as ‘negative and/or resistant’, recognise that they are protecting themselves. 

The Charisma model enables you to change the readiness of these types of people, so that they become enthralled by what they are learning.

Charisma accelerates learning effectiveness

When people are operating from a 'survival' mindset they are experiencing a level of fear that causes them to automatically erect walls of protection. Imagine for a moment your learner’s mindset is a balloon and the learner’s environment is a box that holds the balloon. Now imagine that the space in the box which is not taken up by the balloon represents the protective wall. If the balloon is fully inflated, it grows into the space so the available ‘wall’ is reduced.

Alternatively, if the balloon is deflated then the available space, or in this instance the wall, gets thicker and more dominant. The way to reduce the wall is to inflate the balloon until it fills the box.

This example illustrates the way the Charisma model works.

Charisma Model

When you experience negativity or resistance from your learner or trainee, rather than judge them as ‘negative and/or resistant’, recognise that they are protecting themselves. They feel scared.  I referred in my first article on charisma for TrainingZone - How can your charisma optimise your training effectiveness - to how people put up invisible walls of resistance through 'fear' and a need to protect themselves from the unknown.

The truth is you are most likely seeing their wall, not the real person and their wall is in place because their body and mind are operating from a place of 'survival' rather than 'growth'. The Charisma model looks at building the energy which inflates their growth mindset (to dissolve their walls) by embracing a depth of communication that involves five internal attributes:

Moving learners from survival to growth mode

Many of the conventional tools that you may use with learners and trainees in a typical situation - such as plenary discussions, simulations and role-plays - are unlikely to penetrate through a person's invisible protective walls. The more you try to force your point across, the more fear you are likely to evoke and that person’s wall will get stronger as they resist feeling exposed.

The solution lies in building the energy that increases their growth mindset (to dissolve their walls) through embracing a depth of communication that involves these internal attributes:

  1. Self-esteem
  2. Sensory awareness
  3. Compelling vision
  4. Driving force
  5. Balanced energy

1. Self-esteem

When an individual has positive self-esteem they feel confident in their ability to be taught and are relaxed about going through the stages of learning. While an individual may be confident in the workplace they may not feel the same in a different context, such as in a training room. A charismatic facilitator and coach will always see people through the eyes of compassion and acceptance rather than with a critical and judgemental filter.

The emotions of  the facilitator or coach will determine the vibrational frequency that information is transmitted on energetically. Their emotions (whether positive or negative) will be felt by the learner, albeit subconsciously, and the learner will either move closer to a growth mindset or move further away and strengthen their wall of protection. You should never underestimate that your perception of others has a huge impact on the self-esteem, confidence and readiness of learners.

2. Sensory awareness

The thicker the learner’s wall or barrier, the more disconnected they become from their emotions. While they may experience outbursts of intense emotions, generally speaking, learners who operate from a survival mindset have given themselves an emotional anaesthetic to soothe the pain of the emotions they feel.

A  facilitator's level of emotional intelligence has a direct impact on their ability to achieve engagement. People who are expressive and compelling are in touch with their emotions and uninhibited about showing them. When learning becomes multi-sensory you accelerate the learner’s aptitude to learn and absorb more. To evoke an emotional reaction within others, and for them to enjoy and retain the knowledge you are imparting, you need to be in touch with your own emotions. 

3. Compelling vision

When the learner has a compelling vision of what they are working towards and feel inspired and excited by that vision, it will trigger an internal energy surge that fuels their growth mindset. So, a trainer's ability to effectively articulate the end result for that individual or group of individuals by using emotionally connected language will help people feel more connected and empowered.

Every training and coaching session should include a short personal visioning session that enables learners to build and strengthen the neurological connections from what they are about to learn to the exciting vision they are being shown. It’s like a time travel experience when learners get to fully associate with the benefits they will feel as a result of that learning.

4. Driving force

People’s motivation is engaged when the vision shared by the charismatic facilitator is so compelling that it ignites their driving force. Learners are motivated by what is important to them.

The use of The Why Frame is vital for every training, every coaching session and every online development programme. This frame expands the learner’s awareness of the benefits and positive applications they can actualise as a result of the learning. The stronger The Why Frame the more open and receptive people are to learn. Desire is the fuel that inspires, motivates and builds resistance so that what may appear to be insurmountable suddenly feels do-able.

5. Balanced energy

Each one of these five attributes impact on people’s energy – which is highly addictive. We unwittingly crave energy and high energy causes us to feel safe, inspired, strong and empowered.

Energy is a crucial component for charisma and understanding it and becoming more sensitive to it is vital to any trainer looking to develop their own charismatic presence. When you engage your natural charisma you transcend from conventional training and facilitation into deeper and richer learning and development that holds the power to transform lives.

Find out how you can help to build your charisma while you sleep

Interested in this topic? Read How to unleash your inner charisma.

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