Improve business with your charisma

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07/22/2008
Want to inspire your employees to sell more security systems? Make more killer business deals? According to this Boston Globe story , upping your charisma quotient could help. What makes a person charismatic? Yale professor Joseph Roach said it’s the "effortless embodiment of contradictory qualities simultaneously: strength and vulnerability, innocence and experience, and singularity and typicality among them." The story says people like Oprah Winfrey; Abraham Lincoln, Lady Diana, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama have got it. OK, so how do you become more charismatic? Well, the Globe story is long on observation and short on instruction, but it does include a consultant’s ideas on how to convey strength and warmth, which he says is key: "Strength is conveyed primarily with posture and gestures … Good, erect posture is strong. Holding one's hands palms up and facing away is weak, as are ‘self-comforting’ gestures, like rubbing one's arm. Warmth is conveyed mostly by a genuine smile (in which the eye muscles smile in addition to the mouth muscles); but one must not smile in a way that undermines strength.” Got it? Palms down, smile, no arm rubbing. Let me know how it works.