I first published this on Sarah Robinson’s blog, Escaping Mediocrity. So if you read it there last week, you won’t learn anything new by reading it here today. But, by all means, don’t be shy about leaving a comment!

On June 30,  Matt Lauer had  Elizabeth Edwards onThe Today Show to talk about life, family, her revised book as it comes out in paperback, criticism she’s received, and what she thinks about her ex-husband’s love child. Before seeing her interview, I’m not sure I would have been able to clearly articulate what creating irresistible presence really means. And then I watched her, with complete fascination and respect, as she answered tough, tough questions with confidence, class, and ease.

When asked if she regrets having married  John Edwards, she said things didn’t turn out the way she would have hoped, but she didn’t regret her marriage. When asked about the criticism she received from the Edwards campaign office, she said didn’t realize the staff didn’t see her as an equal, but as the candidate’s wife, which put her on a lower playing field.

She also said knowing how she is perceived, as much as she wants people to like her, is really helpful in her own personal growth. When asked how she was feeling, she commented she’s on a new chemotherapy regimen and she hopes, the next time she is on television, it’s to talk about one of her passions. Not once did she badmouth the campaign staff, her ex-husband, or his mistress.

At the end of the interview, I posted on Facebook that I can only hope I am as humble and classy as she is, especially when confronted with conflict.  No matter what your politics, what you think about what she may or may have not known during the campaign, or what you think of the scandal, it’s pretty difficult not to respect and admire the way she has created an irresistible presence.

Creating Your Irresistible Presence

We live in a day and age that almost anyone can become a seemingly overnight sensation. With reality shows, social networking, self-publishing, blogging, and Internet radio and TV, the playing field is level and we have the opportunity to build ourselves into experts around our passions. With that come ego boosts and a heightened sense of ability, plus conflict and confrontation. It also comes with an immense amount of responsibility: A responsibility to ourselves, to our families, to our friends, to our colleagues, to our clients, to our competition, and even to our nemeses.

Our responsibility is to be our authentic selves without compromising our values. Yet many of us are scared to be human, to show our weaknesses and our flaws.  It’s scary…being yourself, especially if (like Elizabeth Edwards and me, too) you have a need to be liked.

I genuinely care about what people think of me and it really hurts my feelings when someone who doesn’t know me talks badly about me off- or online. But I am 100 percent true to myself and to my values and, though my feelings get hurt, that helps me focus on the positive relationships in my life.

And that is what creating your irresistible presence is all about. For me, it’s important I help others, I pay it forward as often as I can, I recognize the strengths in my network, I pump up people, I acknowledge everyone who comes into my world, and I never get too big for my britches.

How I do those things is pretty simple:

  • I am overly obsessed at answering every email I receive;
  • I respond to every tweet myself;
  • I read and comment on other’s blogs;
  • I respond to all of the comments on our blog;
  • I recommend people, blogs, and books I love;
  • I go out of my way to find one thing I have in common with people who pop into my online world;
  • I never say no (which I don’t recommend!); and
  • I recognize people publicly and privately consistently.

We are always eager to help those who have helped us without asking for anything in return. I’m a big believer in treating people the way you want to be treated and, if you do, you soon will emulate Elizabeth Edwards with a classy, humble, confident, easy presence others find completely irresistible.

P.S. If you’d like to see tidbits of the Elizabeth Edwards interview, you can see it on  The Young Turks.

What do you do every day to live the Golden Rule?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich