Every aspiring business professional wants to have personal impact or Gravitas. Some have it, but some find it much harder to make their mark with their peers, seniors, clients and importantly, contacts and potential clients.
Is it something you either have or not and if you don’t, is there anything you can do about it?
Happily the answer is yes – you can do a lot. Here are some of the behaviours of people who have it, which you can adapt to your own style, to raise your personal impact orgravitas.
Gravitas is a word well understood in the Anglophone world but is frequently unfamiliar to those with English as a second or subsequent language. Assuming professional expertise is given, gravitas broadly translates into ‘presence’, ‘dignity, ‘bearing’. Someone who has it is likely to generate immediate respect.
Here are five pointers to help you raise your personal impact or gravitas.
- Develop a calmness and assuredness in your speech and movement.
- Make your communication succinct. Consider what you want to say, say it and then stop! Be careful not to repeat yourself or ramble.
- Use the power of silence with assertive eye contact. Only people who are assured can hold a pause with eye contact and those on the receiving end will see a confidence and presence in you.
- Be yourself and know that you are the best ‘you’ there is. We can all learn from watching others, though if we adopt any of their behaviours, we must make them our own and try not to mimic.
- Be comfortable to ask questions and listen. The less confident person will tend to talk too much and transmit information in the mistaken belief that they can impress by spraying knowledge. Demonstrate your expertise through the questions you ask and show you are interested by listening. Clearly you must contribute to the conversation but you should do so from a standpoint of being interested rather than trying to be interesting.
If you want to improve your personal impact – your gravitas – find someone you believe has it, watch what they do and then adapt their behaviours to your style. There’s nothing magic about it! It’s all about behaviours and anyone can learn and apply them. The secret is to identify the behaviours that work and then to make them your own so you continue to be authentic.