A crash course in charisma

Do people like you? Do they really, really like you? Even if you're not a moviestar, you still have to hone your personal magnetism. As an entrepreneur,you're your company's best spokesperson. But what if your charisma is lacking abit?

In psychologist Andrew DuBrin's view, the solution is obvious: Build up yourcharisma muscles. "It's not easy to do," acknowledges the author of PersonalMagnetism: Discover Your Own Charisma and Learn to Charm, Inspire, andInfluence Others (Amacom), "but I think everyone can work toward becomingmore charismatic."

How so? Start with the basics: Smile more readily, improve your handshake andappearance, and err on the side of optimism. If low self-confidence plaguesyou, says DuBrin, develop expertise that helps counteract those negativefeelings. "If you do something well, people tend to attribute charismatic-likequalities to you," explains DuBrin.

It doesn't hurt to have a sense of humor, too. "When you're in a meeting,"suggests DuBrin, "observe what other people do that makes people laugh."

Openness to and consideration of others is also critical, says DuBrin. "Supposea customer gives you a big order," he says. "Instead of just sending aninvoice, include a card saying, �It's a pleasure doing business with you.'This helps build strong relationships."