Lots of people are terrific at what they do, but they hit a plateau mid-career. It isn’t a question of competence at their job; it’s often to do with ‘Gravitas’, and their lack of it.
But what is Gravitas? Well, the literal meaning of the Latin word Gravitas is, “weight, heaviness”. This suggests that people who display Gravitas are grounded, possess sound judgement and are able to deal with significant issues – in other words, ‘grace under fire’.
Despite being the number one leadership skill for building business success, very few are actually born with Gravitas. Instead, it often takes a bit of concerted effort to learn.
If you have been told, or you suspect, that you lack Gravitas, here are some of the behaviours that can help you develop this key skill and get ahead.
A lot can be said by saying nothing at all. People with Gravitas don’t just express confidence verbally; it’s in their body language too. It’s no good fiddling anxiously with your hair, tapping your pen or slouching in your chair. To convey Gravitas successfully, your body language needs to match with the message you want to convey, so walk tall, sit-up straight and don’t forget the all-important hand shake.
2.Don’t say too much
Less is more. Gravitas is about waiting for the right moment to make your point and learning how to use silence successfully. When you do speak, keep it clear and concise. Don’t cut people off – wait for your turn!
Pauses give you time to think and allow you to regain focus. People with Gravitas know how to use pauses to their advantage – whether it’s adding emphasis to a particular word or to break-up speech. Remember that nervous people are uncomfortable with silence, so to use pauses well is very powerful indeed.
“Don’t just listen with your ears”. Eye contact is a sign that you’re a good listener and is a big part of building trust with your audience. When you fail to make eye contact with your listeners, you look less authoritative, less believable and less confident. But remember, staring too much can be off-putting!
5.Resonance of voice
To achieve Gravitas, it’s not just about what you say, it’s how you say it. People with Gravitas know they don’t have to shout to be heard. Study the situation to know how you want to come across. A steady, firm pace suggests confidence, while a deeper tone conveys authority and adds seriousness to your speech, making people more likely to listen to you.
To discuss how we could help you or your team develop Gravitas, please contact us on +44 (0)870 428 8191 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.