While watching the documentary Gucci: The Director, Gucci’s creative director Frida Giannini said something simple, but curious that brought my mind to the nature of my work as a coach and how I help my clients get the things they want through the art of seduction.
Paraphrasing, Giannini says in the film that we all want to feel beautiful and in that beauty is a an element of seduction and attraction.
Giannini uses the word seduction a lot in her work as a creative director. When one stops to think about the words seduction and attractiveness the first place we go to is a Don Draper, Mad Men-esque use of the word rooted in the world of advertising as a means to attract the opposite sex and achieve whatever means of personal or sexual gratification. One can even go as deep as its latin roots meaning, to lead astray. However, in the sense that Giannini uses, she uses seduction and attractiveness as a means to attract, to win over, and yet, I go further to say that leading someone astray can simply imply taking them from what they know to be true – not necessarily leading them away from their morals or principles for selfish purposes – but simply taking them from their own little worlds and into yours.
Through Giannini’s Italian accent, I think more than sexual attraction when I hear her say seduction. Is seduction a means to an end or is it an endless way of being? Giannini says there’s an attitude to seduction. When I relate the attitude of attractiveness on the global scale in the ways the universe, we’re always attracting people, things, and situations into our world. In this respect, seduction is always at work whether we realize it or not.
Some people start through fashion as it’s an easy, material and visual way to create a physical state of attractiveness. Through that visual, people make assumptions based on appearances; assumptions of health, vitality, fertility, financial success and so on. However, we all know that looks fade, that initial attraction wears off, and the truth of who we are begins to reveal itself and in that truth our nature – that attitude, Giannini speaks of – remains.
I relate this to my work as a coach and the interaction that occurs in the process of attraction. When I’m coaching managers, they and their bosses talk about having presence, the ability to command respect and attention, and having the knack of bringing minds together with sheer command of presence. Some managers naturally, or rather unconsciously achieve this, while others don’t and actually achieve to repel people and opportunities away from themselves.
Developing and refining these attributes takes attention, fine tuning, and practice, but they don’t come without a deep sense of awareness of the self and of the other, which is where I always start. We begin with taking at look at what remains after removing all of the insecurities, the flaws, and the initial impressions. Developing a sense of awareness and confidence in what remains, or the essence of who we are, can take a while to identify and nurture. However, once the moment comes in which someone feels confident in their skin and more importantly, their natural way of being, attracting their vision becomes so much easier and it’s at this point that true seduction can begin.
That awareness of the other also comes into play when it comes to seduction. It’s not just about knowing what the other person is looking for or even what they want. It’s also about allowing them feel your confidence, attitude, or as the French say joie de vivre and giving them the impression that they, too, can have it for themselves and not merely feeding it off or taking it away from you. This is how mutual attraction and seduction occurs: an interaction of minds creating what they need and allowing them to materialize in a collaborative way, therefore creating a whole new level of awareness which, in a business environment, leads to innovation, creativity, and increased collaboration.
Subordinates want to be led and inspired to lead and it happens a lot through the seduction of their minds and spirits: Taking them from what they presently know to be true and showing them through our own attitudes and way of being what is possible when two or more become one.
Hearing Giannini talk about attraction and seduction went further for me than in simple terms of fashion and style, but in a basic sense of what it’s like to be a human being: constantly in a state of attracting, whether consciously or unconsciously, and creating the world around us. We can remain on the superficial or go deeper and harness a true power that goes beyond first impressions.