TOP OF THE CLASS AT CHARM SCHOOL

Friday - - Editor's Letter - Karen Pasquali Jones, Editor kpasqual­i­jones@gulfnews.com

Princess Diana RA­DI­ATED calm, POISE and BEAUTY. But she also had charisma and ENERGY

Mar­i­lyn Monroe had it. So did Steve Jobs, Nel­son Man­dela and Jimmy Dean. The late Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Mar­garet Thatcher pos­sessed it by the buck­et­load, as did Princess Diana. No, we’re not talk­ing beauty – though these were all at­trac­tive peo­ple. What they all had in com­mon was charisma.

I was lucky enough to meet The Iron Lady on my first day as a jour­nal­ist at a na­tional news agency. She was with her hus­band De­nis for a media meet and greet and for some rea­son he was on a mo­tor­bike – and man­aged to get the hel­met stuck on his head. Cue my first splash on the Daily Mail and a glimpse at the so­phis­ti­cated and charm­ing way Mar­garet dealt with it. ‘Come along now, De­nis,’ she said, much like you’d talk to a child. Then as we all took notes, and pho­to­graphs, she smiled and laughed while pris­ing his head free.

It was a les­son in un­flap­pa­bil­ity and showed clearly why she was re­sid­ing at Num­ber 10 Down­ing Street – be­cause noth­ing could shake her charisma. The same was true of Diana, who I met twice – once at a bar­be­cue and again dur­ing a walk­a­bout. She ra­di­ated calm, poise and beauty – her face, teeth and eyes lit­er­ally shone – but she also had charisma and energy. Even though there were thou­sands of peo­ple lin­ing the streets to meet her, she went from one side of the road to the other, laser­ing in on the chil­dren, grannies, mums and dads she met, mak­ing each one feel spe­cial.

And that’s the se­cret of charm, ac­cord­ing to our fea­ture on page 34. You need to give your un­di­vided at­ten­tion to ev­ery per­son you meet, even if it’s just for 10 sec­onds. Ac­cord­ing to the charisma coach our writer Colin Drury in­ter­viewed, we should en­rich ev­ery­one we meet with ev­ery en­counter. A tall or­der per­haps, but we tell you how to fake it un­til you (charm­ingly) make it. Un­til next week!

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