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A space for women entrepreneurs seeking to expand their influence while staying true to their values.

welcome to the
Bright Voices in Business Podcast WITH CHLOE DECHOW

Get ready to build your business on your terms

Join your host Chloe Dechow as she interviews industry thought leaders, shares her expertise as a thought leadership strategist and consultant, and pushes you toward sharing your opinion on a global scale. 





You might hold the same misconception I once did about charisma—that it’s something you either have or you don’t. But here’s the truth: charisma is a craftable skill, and it’s essential for the success of our businesses.

In this episode of Bright Voices in Business, I had the pleasure of chatting with Milam Miller, the inspiring founder of Be Confident & Kind, often described by his clients as “The Real-Life Ted Lasso.”

We dove deep into the essence of charisma and its pivotal role in leadership. Milam enlightened us that charisma is a social skill, not just a personality trait, and can be nurtured through curiosity, active listening, and genuine connections. We also explored how women can harness their innate emotional intelligence to build confidence and lead boldly.

Join us to discover:

  • Why charisma is vital for solopreneurs and business owners.
  • How charisma can be used in a negative way, and why using it for good can not only help us further our businesses, but become more connected to others. 
  • Examples of leaders who use their charisma to lead with integrity and influence positively.
  • The ABC’s of charisma—authenticity, boldness, and curiosity—and how they can transform your leadership style.
  • Practical tactics and body cues that help you connect emotionally with others and strengthen your interpersonal relationships.

Prepare to be inspired and empowered with the tools you need to become a more charismatic and effective leader. Don’t miss out on these valuable insights from Milam Miller!


FREE GUIDE: Steps to Building Your Authentic Authority


West Haven Website: www.westhavencoaching.com

West Haven Instagram: @westhavencoaching

Chloe Dechow LinkedIn: @chloedechow


Website: www.beconfidentandkind.com

LinkedIn: @milam-miller-bck

Instagram: @milam.miller

COMING SOON: Milam’s Book: The Charisma Craft–How to Become a Magnetic Leader


Milam Miller (00:00:00) –  You have charisma. Don’t tell yourself the lie that they have it and we don’t. Charisma is something that can be crafted. It takes a lot of intentional practice. It takes both the self-discovery and self-awareness piece. But really, it’s ultimately on that refinement. But get really curious. Be bold in these actions, and I hope that you will remember that you have charisma just like you possess creativity. We can all lean into our creativity if we choose to. Just like you can lean into your charisma if you choose to as well.

Chloe Dechow (00:00:32) –  Hi, I’m Chloe Dechow and with more than a decade of experience working with thought leaders, I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact of conviction combined with purpose driven entrepreneurship. This podcast shows you how to authentically bring together leadership, equity, and marketing to build your authority so that you can grow your impact and scale your business. This is a space for elevating women’s voices and redefining what it means to be a thought leader. Together, we’ll unlock the potential of our bright voices and create a ripple effect of change that resonates far beyond the realms of business.

Chloe Dechow (00:01:09) –  This is the Bright Voices in Business podcast. Now let’s dive into today’s episode. Welcome back to the Bright Voices in Business podcast. Today I am having a very special guest, Milam Miller, join me. Milam and I met through the Co-Active Institute while we were undergoing training for coaching. So it’s really exciting to bring Milam in to chat with you. Milam is a former senior sales leader in sports and has been described by his clients as the real life Ted Lasso. He’s an expert on soft skills, and his mission is to help leaders create more workplace connection with the use of charismatic leadership principles. He is advancing this mission through his boutique leadership development consultancy called Be Confident and Kind, as well as through the release of his first book, The Charisma Craft: How to Become a Magnetic Leader, which is coming out in February 2025. Hi, Milam, thanks for joining me.

Milam Miller (00:02:12) –  Yeah, thank you Chloe, I appreciate you having me on.

Chloe Dechow (00:02:14) –  I am excited to have this conversation around charisma for a couple of different reasons, but I think I want to set the stage here around my take on charisma before I met you, because you’ve definitely helped to shape my viewpoint on it.

Chloe Dechow (00:02:29) –  So I am going to flash back to, I don’t know, my pre-teen years growing up with my family, and I distinctly remember a conversation with my parents and siblings around what charisma was. And I remember in the conversation that my parents brought up a couple of family friends who they felt were very charismatic in nature and well connected and, you know, really just build rapport with people easily. And I remember through that conversation walking away, and it was no ill intent of my parents, but walking away with those people have it. Those family friends have it and we don’t. And just kind of growing up with this image of, you know, you either have charisma or you don’t. And I know you have a very different viewpoint on charisma. And so I’m excited to bring you in to kind of bust some of these myths that we kind of carry around that might be self-sabotaging in some way and really kind of rewrite this narrative around what charisma is and how it can help somebody in their business and as a leader.

Chloe Dechow (00:03:39) –  So can you talk a little bit about your definition of charisma? Now that we have my parents’ definition out of the way.

Milam Miller (00:03:46) –  Sure, absolutely. So it’s not uncommon for people to share your parent’s definition or what you saw, discussed, maybe exhibited or modeled by other family friends if they have it. And we don’t, because that seems really simple and that keeps us safe. Like, well, must come easy to them. It doesn’t for us. Like that’s just the way things are, when in reality charisma is actually two things. And I want to be very clear when I say to one it’s a social skill. It is not a personality trait. And two keyword two it’s a two way connection between two people that requires exactly that human connection, not one way attraction. So when we think about charisma, it really requires us to be curious about the other person, to actively listen to them and do everything it is that we’re told to do to like, connect with the person. That seems really intuitive, maybe to some or things that we think we do, but we lose sight of it in the moment because we’re distracted, especially in our tech society, that we struggle to actually drill down and connect with them.

Milam Miller (00:04:52) –  In other words, exhibit charisma.

Chloe Dechow (00:04:54) –  Yeah, definitely. I think of, you know, when I think of charisma, I think of almost like this magnetic energy in a sense. But it’s not, as you said, it’s not through like this woo form of attraction. It’s really about just coming down to the the humanity of it all. So how does somebody build connection? Milam, in a way that is very charismatic in nature.

Milam Miller (00:05:17) –   Sure. So funny, you mentioned a magnet as an example, because I actually have a visual here for anyone who might see clips of this. These are collar stays that men you can put in their collar to keep them down. And historically, when we think about charisma, it has been that one way attraction. You have a negative pole and a positive pole. And for the record, any listeners out there, I’m not a scientist. I’m actually the furthest thing from it. But we think of charisma as this leader, the color stay being the one that attracts one way followers when really charisma.

Milam Miller (00:05:49) –  It’s a two way street. It’s when one individual takes a keen interest in another individual, and that other individual feels safe, psychologically safe to open up. Maybe someone takes lead being vulnerable, maybe they take lead just being playful. And it’s a question out of the blue that really kind of lets the other party’s guard down. But when they open up that floodgate, then conversation can flow and understanding can grow from there. So really what worries me is when I say a two way street. It’s not one way magnetic attraction, but it’s both parties being engaged, which is what this visual, which I hope people can see represents. In other words, oftentimes we think of charismatic individuals as good conversationalists, and I think most listeners will know that a good conversationalist does what they ask questions. And so I always use the analogy of tennis. I’m a big sports guy. I reference it a lot in my book because that’s my professional background. But a charismatic leader isn’t going for the ace or the kill. They’re actually trying to volley and hit the tennis ball back and forth to get to know their opponent, their weaknesses that later on in tennis, like as a competitor, they could exploit.

Milam Miller (00:07:01) –  But as a leader using charisma for good, they’re actually using it to know what motivates the other person to influence them or persuade them in ways that they may not otherwise be able to do. When we think of potential to reach it on their own, that’s what a charismatic leader does, is they’re able to draw that good from the other person.

Chloe Dechow (00:07:18) –  I love that idea. It brings me back to my people management days of really figuring out what motivates people, what their obstacles are, and how you can support them in bringing out the best in them so that they can achieve the goals and of course, ultimately help the company that they work for. I’m curious what the ripple effect is of having people build this connection and then be able to reach that potential within themselves.

Milam Miller (00:07:42) –  Yeah, the term ripple effect, I think we use it a lot in society. And sometimes we have good examples of what that means. And at other times it’s like, okay, what ripple effect are we trying to create here? I’m a firm believer, Chloe, that the modern workplace is in a disconnection crisis.

Milam Miller (00:07:59) –  We have employers who invest a lot in connectivity tools think slack, think teams, all of these things that are intended to keep us like in touch and connected and engaged and in collaborating and communicating, but where we’re under indexing and therefore underperforming is we are not investing in human connection. And that starts with our leaders. And so if we invest in leaders who learn charismatic leadership principles of how to take a vested interest in their direct reports, how to get curious, how to be authentic, how to lead compassionately. Then we will create a ripple effect that shows a workplace of care. And I always say that when we invest in our people, we realize profits. So I’m a big believer in having employers invest in human connection, not connectivity tools.

Chloe Dechow (00:08:49) –  I love that I can feel that even as a solopreneur, you know, I have access to all these wonderful tools that help automate and, you know, zoom and this platform, Riverside, that I’m using to record a podcast. And yet it can be really easy to lose sight of the human element of all of this.

Chloe Dechow (00:09:06) –  So I’m curious for those who are solopreneurs or maybe that have a small team of contractors that they work with, how can they bring some of this connection into their work?

Milam Miller (00:09:16) –  Totally. No matter what we do, no matter our line of work, how big our team is, it takes a village. I say that now as a new father, that term has taken on a whole new meaning of it takes a village to raise a kid. I joked around in the early days of me stepping away from corporate and being a solopreneur. I used to say I was a team of three. Me, myself and I. And what I’ve come to realize is that anyone I collaborate with, whether it’s a videographer, perhaps an editor who might help you editing this podcast, these people help bright voices in business, right? They help Westhaven. They’re helping Chloe as she’s growing her business and the services you offer. So why does charisma matter? It matters because we can’t do this alone in Christmas. Helps us stay connected with others.

Milam Miller (00:10:02) –  And in other words, it’s once we build that trust and from a place of trust, we grow a rapport. And when we grow a rapport with people, then wonderful things happen, like things start falling into place where we feel as if though, okay, I’m not just going through the motions, but I’m actually doing this to achieve the mission of my business, or I’m advancing this value for my business. So I think charisma, I hope I’ve answered the question for solopreneurs or small business owners, it can serve you. And really holding that big vision you have for your business, because it’s easy for us to get lost in the minutia, the mundane, the day to day. But charisma is what keeps us connected to that larger purpose. And all the people that were collaborating with to help us reach that purpose.

Chloe Dechow (00:10:42) –  Yeah, I love that. It’s a good reminder that we aren’t actually in this alone. It can often feel like that. But we do have a huge, you know, support network in some way, shape or form that’s helping us move forward.

Chloe Dechow (00:10:54) –  Even if you don’t have contractors, right? You might have a spouse or somebody else, the family member or somebody who is supporting you in some way to help bring this business to fruition. Sure. So, Mila, I want to ask you about the differences between men and women when it comes to charisma, because I also know in the workplace, in the world, we carry different stories with us. And for women, the stories can be very different than what men typically carry around. And so I’m curious what you have noticed or learned about the differences between how men and women view charisma, and maybe how they’re viewed from a charismatic standpoint to so not just their inner view of themselves, but also how the world kind of recognizes or attributes charisma to them. Totally.

Milam Miller (00:11:40) –  I will try to break that down into a couple of different examples, because I think tangible examples will help your listeners. First and foremost, what I have noticed is that more men in the workplace leaders and corporate America that I work with in a capacity of going in, in facilitating workshops, but also coaching small teams and coaching one on one privately, I’ve noticed that men are more willing to label themselves as charismatic than women are.

Milam Miller (00:12:06) –  What I’ve learned is that really, there’s two factors that determine somebody’s charisma factor. And bear in mind this is a social skill. Charisma is it can change. You can craft your element of charisma. And it requires two things. Number one, how confident you are in yourself and your competencies. This isn’t false confidence, right? Bravado. Like I’m a con artist and like I can do anything. No, this is like I possess this skill or I have this experience under my belt and I feel really confident in this core competency. That’s number one. And number two is how warm you are to yourself and your developmental journey, and how warm you are to others when you’re collaborating on a team. And so what the research shows is that when it comes to emotional intelligence scores, women index higher than men in almost everything. There was a study, I think, that Harvard Business Review put out in 2019 that surveyed over 100 people, leaders, managers and then over 300 of their direct reports. And an overwhelming majority of women indexed higher in all the metrics that display charismatic leadership.

Milam Miller (00:13:12) –  However, men index higher when it talked about rating themselves like men were more confident in their abilities. The most important thing in this study that I find fascinating, Chloe, is that while women especially like under the age of 25, don’t have that confidence, women over time start building that snowball effect. But it’s not until the age of 40 where women’s confidence reaches the same level as men. So in other words, women in the workforce. It takes them until they’re 40 to feel as confident as men, which is just mind blowing to me. If you put a 25 year old man and a 25 year old girl in front of each other, they are a 25 year old woman, I should say not girl. Odds are, the 25 year old man would say he possesses more charisma and is more confident in his abilities than the 25 year old woman. And so it takes until age 40 when we see the data cross. The reason I’m authoring thought Leadership on Charisma and it being about connection is because if women are scoring so highly, indexing so well in these areas, then we know that their kind or we know they have the warmth.

Milam Miller (00:14:11) –  We know that they have the emotional regulation in the workplace. They just need to up their confidence factor. And so it’s equipping them with tools to be more confident in the competencies with which they index. Well.

Chloe Dechow (00:14:22) –  Wow. That is absolutely fascinating. What I’m hearing almost as like a self-awareness issue. Like the women are not self-aware enough that they actually have all these skills that are necessary for charisma, and the men are not self-aware that they need to work on the skills. They’re your charisma, so it’s super interesting. So how does someone build their confidence? Sure. So how does a woman who is already naturally, probably more emotional, intelligent and has all these skills necessary to be a charismatic leader? How does she build the confidence in order to step into that? Yeah.

Milam Miller (00:14:58) –  Great question. I love the idea of stepping into it. So charisma requires self discovery first and foremost. And from that place of self-discovery, we then become self-aware, as you mentioned. And so I think for a lot of men, I’m going to back into this a little bit of a roundabout way.

Milam Miller (00:15:12) –  There is this fake it until you make it mentality. And I can attest to that. As a young salesman in my early 20s, it was like just fake until you make it. And I learned that that was not sustainable for me. Like, why am I faking this? Like, I want to believe in the product I’m selling, or believe in our service and our ability to deliver. So I break down charisma into a very simple framework of ABCs. And so in order for women to step into their confidence, they really need to embody these three ABCs. A stands for authenticity, which a lot of women probably are fearful of doing in the workplace. There’s this fear of if I’m overly authentic, then I’ll be perceived as too emotional or erratic because women get labeled as these things in the workplace. But authenticity looks different from woman to woman. It’s not just like, hey, women, be authentic and and we all follow the same standard or in my case, same standard. For men, authenticity means we have to lean into our peculiarities.

Milam Miller (00:16:07) –  Our quirks really showcase that personality. The B stands for boldness. We see that women who take risks and are bold in their risk taking mind you, its calculated risk. Those are the ones who climb in advance. This might look different, right? It might be being bold and stepping away from corporate, or stepping away from that work and taking a risk on yourself. Launching a business. And then C stands for curiosity. Being curious about the clients you serve, the customers you serve, the market with which you’re competing in or serving in however you want to look at it. And so in order for women to step more into their confidence, they have to be highly authentic, highly bold, in a calculated risk way, and very curious about what it is they do and why they do it.

Chloe Dechow (00:16:54) –  I love the ABC’s. That’s easy to remember.

Milam Miller (00:16:56) –  I hope so, yeah, ABCs of charisma is something that really came to me as I was receiving baby books for my newborn. You see all these ABCs of Texas, ABCs of New York.

Milam Miller (00:17:08) –  You know, I think they make them for every state. Or you can imagine any sort of subject matter. And in looking at the research and the data of how confidence and kindness or warmth are pivotal for our perception of charismatic leaders. When I distill down the research, I’m like, it really does boil down to authenticity. And that being really clear, our North Star as why we lead others boldness, what that looks like for us, and curiosity, which is just that, almost like the oil to an engine, right? That keeps it high. If you don’t get your car’s oil change right, then it’s going to over time, we’re going to start making false assumptions or judgments and not be the leader we want to be. And the charismatic leaders are the ones who are able to remain authentic, redefine what bold looks like, and stay curious along the way.

Chloe Dechow (00:17:56) –  Yeah, I know you and I both share that core value of curiosity because it is huge in everything, quite frankly. Absolutely everything.

Chloe Dechow (00:18:08) –  It’s huge in your relationship to yourself. It’s huge. And creating a vision for your life. It’s important for your relationships with other people. And yes, I just I could go on. We could do a whole podcast episode on just curiosity, so maybe I’ll have to put that in the parking lot, so to speak, for podcast episodes. I’m really interested. If you’re okay with this, I would love to switch gears and just talk about how you came to this as a topic for yourself. Sure, because I know it’s a passion point for you, obviously. Otherwise you wouldn’t be writing an entire book on it. Can we talk a little bit about the story of how Milam became the person who was so interested in charisma and helping kind of rewrite the narrative around charisma, so that other people have that opportunity to develop that soft skill. Totally. Where did this all begin?

Milam Miller (00:18:56) –  Yeah. Great question. I wish I could trace it back to one inspiration story, but quite frankly, there are a few.

Milam Miller (00:19:03) –  The first one I’ll share is when I was in high school, I wanted to be the Michael Jordan of my high school basketball teams. All five foot eight of me wanted to be this really exceptional athlete who all my teammates, you know, lifted me up on their shoulders when I hit the game winning shot. That simply wasn’t in the cards for me. I was a decent athlete. I enjoyed team sport and even individual sport. Played tennis, played, played everything. football, basketball, baseball. But I fell in love in a really random roundabout way with speech and debate, which was super nerdy yet authentic to me. And I realized that by finding our voice and really fighting apathy, just like not having an opinion, I found that really refreshing. And so I started looking at famous orators, people that were really good at speech and debate. And of course, a lot of politicians come to mind. And this theme of charisma came up of, like Ronald Reagan, highly presidential, highly charismatic.

Milam Miller (00:20:00) –  He’s come back up again in this election cycle, which I’m not going to go too deep into, but just under the kind of the construct will keep it safe around the idea of age in this upcoming presidential election. And Ronald Reagan famously saying, I won’t let my opponent exploit my age, you know, for his youth, you know, he used a really playful response in that debate to not put down his opponent, but use humor as a tool to actually get people to connect with him in his agenda. And so you have that example, but then you have, like the Adolf Hitler’s of the world that used charisma, which is a very powerful tool to marginalize people and in an attempt to annihilate an entire population, which is horrendous. And so I started thinking, I’m like, what is it about charisma that were drawn to? And so back then I did see it as this one way attraction. And I started reading Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. And I realized that so much of the principles of that book, even though it’s not called How to Be Charismatic, it really boiled down to winning friends and influencing people.

Milam Miller (00:21:02) –  Bottom line is charisma, and that there’s so much value in that, in feeling bonded and connected with others. Because I truly believe, like a human desire for all of us is to feel connection, feel human connection and a sense of belonging. And so I just started consciously and subconsciously applying those principles and realized that it feels good to be connected with other human beings. Now, when I went into the workforce, I didn’t realize that these same principles or tenants or frameworks could actually help an employer’s agenda drive sales, which is my background, grow year over year revenue, help businesses be profitable. And so I just became fascinated with how do we build a better future of work. And to me, we can do that with charismatic leaders because we’re not pushing an individual agenda, but rather we’re pushing a collective agenda of we’re all in this together again. There’s no I in team. And if we’re gathered around a purpose or mission for good, then we have the power to do that. And so bottom lining it, I think charismatic leaders are really adept at motivating individuals.

Milam Miller (00:22:08) –  They’re really good at persuading or rather, using their presence to make others feel comfortable, which I think is really a value in this workplace and influence which is so misconceived for manipulation, which it’s really not. It’s trying to influence a common agenda as opposed to one agenda overall.

Chloe Dechow (00:22:26) –  Yeah, I’m even thinking of taking this and applying it to like a container, like a sales call. And sure, like not every product or service is for everybody. And yet there are definitely products and services that are the solution to whatever somebody might be going through. And that person’s role as a sales person is really to help them pick the best decision for them. And if that means saying yes to the transformation that they really need. That in itself is a positive use of influence. How can somebody just knowing that charisma is such a powerful tool, how can somebody go about it and make sure that they’re being ethical in the way that they use this skill?

Milam Miller (00:23:07) –  Absolutely. I really love this question. And I’m going to use my grandfather as an example.

Milam Miller (00:23:13) –  He was a small business owner himself. And to be more specific, he was a used car salesman. And a lot of times when people hear used car salesmen, they have a preconceived notion. They do not get curious, they get judgmental, and they’re like, oh, he must have been sleazy. My grandfather’s job was not to push cars on people and, like, clear his lot. My grandfather’s job was really a matchmaker. How do I help my client with their criteria and match them with a car that meets their needs? And so therein lies connection. If I’m authentic with my customer about what options I’m seeing out there, I’m bold in saying, hey, I found this. Do you want it? Or if I’m curious, like, I know you had a priority list, you know, one through ten or maybe missing this, but would you be willing to go for this option instead? Then you can help somebody find a match and find a car that suits their needs. And so my grandfather was just so good at being affable and being curious and above all else, remaining optimistic.

Milam Miller (00:24:13) –  Just like I might not have the right option for you now, but give me time. Let me help you. And so I think he is a prime example of somebody who used charisma for good. It wasn’t to condemn or persuade them. He’s like, I know I’m going to be doing just fine, like going to be able to put food on the table for my family. But I really want to make sure I meet your needs. So it’s often times when ego and greed get the better of us. And we’ve seen these world leaders who have used charisma for bad that it’s taken too far. So in order to, I want to make sure I really address your question head on in order to use it for good ethical. It requires, again, that element of self-awareness of like, what is the why behind me doing this? And I don’t think of cult leaders as charismatic people, quite frankly, because they don’t meet my definition. They’re doing it for that one way attraction. They’re doing it to drive their own agenda.

Milam Miller (00:25:08) –  So I think that sometimes that’s why charisma gets a bad rap, is because we’ve associated with cult leaders that Charles Manson’s of the world and the list goes on and on, of people that have been able to con people and not use their natural confidence or kindness to build that connection that I wish to see in the world and that I’m trying to reauthorize or redefine with my definition of charisma.

Chloe Dechow (00:25:30) –  Yeah, I think what’s helpful to remember is that charisma is actually everywhere. If we think about it. So yes, we have these, examples of charisma. I’m curious for you who is charismatic in your life or that you look up to. That would be a great example of somebody who is doing this ethically in in a way that is really supportive of the collective.

Milam Miller (00:25:52) –  Yeah. I’ve thought long and hard on this question because it’s so easy for us to look to various world leaders, like politicians always get the label of charisma, but I just think it’s unfair. Going back to gender differences, there have been 46 presidents of the United States, and none of them have been women.

Milam Miller (00:26:10) –  So fundamentally like, I like to rule that out because women have charisma, too. And coincidentally, my my grandparents, my grandfather, who I mentioned they went to high school with Ann Richards, who was the only the second female governor of the state of Texas. And a lot of people who are from Texas are like, oh, Ann Richards had it back in the 90s. She was charismatic. So there are a lot of world leaders that could point out Jacinda Ardern, who I think is charismatic and used her platform to create progressive policies or even healthy policies in the light of destruction. And what I mean by that was mass shootings in New Zealand, which is very uncommon, very rare. But I like to look at it through the lens of sports, because I think sports is the power to unite people. It’s something Nelson Mandela said way back when, whenever he ended apartheid in South Africa, bringing together the rugby team. And so I look at athletes because I think that while athletes are highly skilled at their craft, right, they’ve built up a really high proficiency or competency in their sport.

Milam Miller (00:27:07) –  Many of the best ones in the field are also charismatic. They’ve crafted a charismatic image that is not fake. We hope it’s authentic, right? It’s bold, it’s curious. And I think one of the best examples of that is Roger Federer. And I think that Roger Federer, now he’s retired, he can’t fall back on the laurels of his play. A lot of his records have been broken. Novak Djokovic has surpassed him, even Rafael Nadal and career grand Slams, I think 2423. Federer’s at 22. And yet people love him because Roger Federer is authentic. He’s takes bold business, risks being a business partner. And on he’s curious. He’s he remains curious. He knows that life outside of the court matters. And he recently gave a commencement speech at Dartmouth, which I was super moved by. Charismatic leaders have the ability to do that. They can inspire us and influence us. And he basically says just that of like, life is so much bigger than tennis. A tennis court is only X amount of square footage.

Milam Miller (00:28:03) –  I don’t I don’t know the exact statistic, but he he really encourages everyone who listened to that commencement address, which if you haven’t, go check out soundbites to really embrace progress over perfection. He talks about the amount of points he lost. He was like, I only won 54% of my shots and I won over X amount of matches. And so it’s a really beautiful call to action for us to remain true to ourselves through being authentic, being bold and curious so that we can better connect with others. He wasn’t always connected with his opponent, but yet he still keeps in touch with Novak Djokovic. Rafael Nadal you see them doing campaigns, you see them just being themselves out there, and I think there’s a lot of beauty in that.

Chloe Dechow (00:28:43) –  I love that example. I think it is very easy for us to look at politicians as charismatic, and really it can be in the sports industry. It can be in all sorts of places if we look for it right, if we’re actually actively trying to find it.

Chloe Dechow (00:28:58) –  So I know you have several frameworks that you use. You’re all about the alphabet these days as a new dad, so I love it. Can you use Federer as an example of one of your frameworks around how somebody can really not just talk about charisma, but actually live it?

Milam Miller (00:29:15) –  Totally. I will do my best to use him as an example. So in my book, I’m authoring The Charisma Craft, which is my first book ever. I have felt a little bit like an imposter. I want to be honest with listeners of like, I’m an author. It’s like, yes, I, I’m doing it. I’m writing a book, I’m an aspiring author that will be published next year. And in this book, I have an overarching framework which is the ad framework and that stands for access, Embody and Deploy. And the reason I developed this is because for any listeners out there who have been to a CPR class, which I also did, preparing for bringing a child into the world, you are taught how to use an Ed machine, and it’s a beautiful thing because these machines are everywhere, right there at sporting events in case somebody goes into heart fib.

Milam Miller (00:29:56) –  My mom’s a cardiac rehabilitation RN and it tells us exactly what we need to do. So this is a framework that I want to tell readers and listeners exactly what you need to do to craft your version of charisma. First and foremost, you need to access a new definition of what charisma looks like to you. So in Roger Federer’s case, that could be I’m not just a tennis player, I’m a human being, and it’s my job to connect with my fans, and it’s my job to connect with my new business partners, or it’s my job to connect with my wife and children because I’m not just a tennis player. So we’re accessing this definition of how can I create more connection with the communities I represent, I serve or I’m involved in and I interact with? The second is embody. What is it that you’re embodying? You’re embodying the ABCs. So again, this can look different from person to person, but we want to constantly do a scan of how am I embodying authenticity? How am I embodying boldness, and how am I embodying curiosity? We’re not always going to get it right, and we as humans are constantly changing.

Milam Miller (00:30:56) –  We’re evolving. So it’s a matter of making sure that we’re staying in alignment and true to ourselves, so that we don’t fall into that trap of making up false narratives or do storytelling about other people, especially if we’re a leader in the workplace, I can attest to at times I would fall victim to that of like, I need to come back to curiosity and not tell myself this story about a direct report and then finally deploy. What are we deploying? There’s a couple of techniques I have in my book. We can deploy mindfulness tactics, body cues, and even soul or spirit connections that help us really connect with somebody on an emotional level. The body cue that I would like to share, I guess, with listeners, because I think it’s it’s really easy to remember if you’re listening to this while you’re driving or cooking or whatever podcasts people do, because that’s where me and my wife listened to our podcast while she’s cooking, or whenever I’m on a commute, is what I like to call the ENT method.

Milam Miller (00:31:46) –  So this is a method that you can deploy. It’s something that Roger Federer I saw did great in post-match interviews, and he’s even doing wonderfully now as he continues to get more endorsements right is notice what your eye contact is doing when I say ENT. Think of your ear, nose and throat. If anybody has an ear, nose and throat doctor. What’s between the ears is our eyes. And so fun fact you can’t stare in both of somebody’s pupils. You can only look into one pupil or look between their eyes. So I always encourage my readers or listeners out there is think about third eye centre ears between the eyes and make eye contact with whoever you’re talking to. It’s so critical. Look at the green dot whenever you’re on a zoom call. The second is in for knows. This is a really good one to make us be mindful of our center line. Make sure you nod moderately. If you start nodding like crazy, you’re on a zoom call. Or if Roger Federer in a post-match interview and he’s like Um-Hmm, we’d be like, what is going on? He’s overthinking.

Milam Miller (00:32:45) –  He’s he’s not really present. He’s not slowing down. So whenever we nod moderately, it kind of brings us back to our center and says, okay, I’m listening. Finally through. That’s where noise comes from. And so I want us to think of both throat and trading smiles. So whenever I’m listening to you or Roger Federer is being interviewed, he’s looking in their third eye center. He’s nodding moderately and he’s trading smiles with a subtle or And so we’re using these cues to showcase that we are actively engaged, that we’re connected with said person who, in Roger Federer’s case probably being interviewed by or in our case a client call a meeting, whoever it is you are talking to on the bus park bench that you want to connect with and really ooze or create more of that charisma factor.

Chloe Dechow (00:33:29) –  I love that as a practical example and super easy to remember, you might have to create an infographic in your future of all your your acronyms.

Milam Miller (00:33:37) –  Yeah, a visual for ENT. Your nose. Throat. Yeah.

Milam Miller (00:33:40) –  Eyes. Third eye center nose, not moderately and t trade smiles.

Chloe Dechow (00:33:44) –  Yes, the marketer in me has already mapped it all out for you.

Milam Miller (00:33:47) –  So do you know any good social graphic artist? Chloe? Yeah, this would be my opportunity to ask that and get curious.

Chloe Dechow (00:33:55) –  I’m sure I could hook you up with somebody. Well, thank you, Mila, as we kind of wrap up what is like the biggest takeaway you want listeners to have as they walk away from this episode today?

Milam Miller (00:34:07) –  I’m taking a beat because taking a beat as a sign of confidence. And it’s important for me to step into my confidence to what do I want readers or listeners, excuse me to take away from our conversation today? For anyone listening to this podcast, I want you to know you have charisma. Don’t tell yourself the lie that Chloe’s parents. Which. I’m not saying they were lying to you, Chloe, but maybe they just naively were thinking they have it, and we don’t. Don’t fall into that trap. Charisma is something that can be crafted.

Milam Miller (00:34:39) –  It takes a lot of intentional practice. It takes, again, like I mentioned, that both the self-discovery and self-awareness piece, but really it’s it’s ultimately on that refinement, noticing what works for you. For my grandfather, it was a lot of playfulness. For Roger Federer. He’s a little bit more matter of fact. And so we can look to male leaders, female leaders, anybody. It is you admire, you respect, look at what they do and how they do it, and then try it on yourself. Try it on and see if it feels authentic to you. If it doesn’t, try something different, but get really curious. Be bold in these actions. There’s going to be so many examples in my upcoming book of athletes who do this the David Beckham’s, the Megan Rapinoe of the world, the Allyson Felix is the Serena Williams. So I really hope that listeners will check it out. And I hope that you will remember that you have charisma, just like you possess creativity. It’s something Chloe and I talked about in the early days.

Milam Miller (00:35:34) –  We can all lean into our creativity if we choose to. Just like you can lean into your charisma if you choose to as well.

Chloe Dechow (00:35:41) –  I love that it’s not a matter of if you’re creative or not, or if you’re charismatic or not. You are both of those things right now, and it’s just about cultivating that for yourself. That’s right. Beautiful. Well, Milam, I wish I could keep you on forever because you always have so much good wisdom to share. Where can people learn more about you if they want to get in contact or learn more about what you’re doing?

Milam Miller (00:36:05) –  That’s very kind. Thank you. You know, I’d love to talk and I’d be happy to do this again. There’s so much subject matter. Like you said, we could just drill deep on curiosity if we really wanted to. Where listeners can find me is on the World Wide Web, baby! www.beconfidentandkind.com. I am also on LinkedIn, where I share thought leadership, and I’m still figuring out the gram.

Milam Miller (00:36:26) –  I got to be honest. Chloe, as a new dad, I really want my feed to just be a baby feed. But the internet can be weird and there are people that use charisma not for good or in other words, use people’s identities for their own exploitation. So I’m still trying to figure that out. But if you want more of a personal follow to understand my personality, check me out on Instagram. But otherwise, for thought leadership around charisma and connecting with other humans, check out my website and follow me on LinkedIn.

Chloe Dechow (00:36:52) –  Awesome! Thanks so much, Milam. Congratulations on your soon to be first book publishing and becoming a dad! Thank you! I’m super excited to continue to follow along on your journey, and I know you’re doing great things for workplaces and business owners everywhere, so thank you so much.

Milam Miller (00:37:09) –  You were so welcome. Thank you Chloe.

Chloe Dechow (00:37:15) –  Thank you for joining me today. If you enjoyed this episode, invite your entrepreneur friends to tune in. Don’t forget to connect with me on Instagram @westhavencoaching.

Chloe Dechow (00:37:25) –  I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode and continue the conversation with you there. And before you go, be sure to download my free guide, Five Steps to Building Your Authentic Authority, which will walk you through how to grow your thought leadership in a way that’s true to who you are and what you stand for. You can find the guide at www.westhavencoaching.com/steps or follow the link in the show notes. Thanks again for tuning in. Together we are changing the faces and voices of thought leadership. Until next time, keep leading with authenticity and impact.

The Truth About Charisma with Milam Miller

July 4, 2024

charisma, leadership, workplace connections, soft skills, boutique leadership development consultancy, Bright Voices in Business podcast, equity, marketing, social skill, two-way connection, authenticity, curiosity, intentional practice, self-discovery, disconnection crisis, human connection, solopreneurs, small business owners, trust, rapport, emotional intelligence, confidence, authenticity, boldness, curiosity, speech and debate, Ronald Reagan, Adolf Hitler, Dale Carnegie, "How to Win Friends and Influence People", women in leadership


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