Career Skills: Gravitas
I remember a while back, a friend of mine worked for a well-known global financial information company, she’d been there a while and had worked her way up to a managerial role. Once she’d reached this point, she was told she had to get some ‘gravitas’ and was assigned a ‘mentor’. When I asked her what it was she told me it was to enable her to progress further within the organisation. The idea was it would help her to be taken seriously.
So, the ultimate aim of developing this key Career skill of ‘Gravitas’ was to open the door and pave the way for her to become a successful leader within the company.
You could say Gravitas is one of the key differentiating qualities between leaders and managers.
What is Gravitas?
The Oxford Dictionary’s Definition: ‘Dignity, seriousness, or solemnity of manner.’
E.g. ‘a post for which he has the expertise and the gravitas’
Source: English Oxford Dictionary
Of course, it’s more than the definition above, ‘to have gravitas’ often means having the combination of several characteristics, including:
- Integrity and Truthfulness
- Ability to show Emotional Intelligence
- Reputation and Standing
Do you have it and if not, how do you get it?
Some of these qualities will come naturally and others you may have to learn.
There’s quite a lot here to get your head around and some are qualities come more naturally to some of us and are perhaps not easy things to learn.
But there are ways to improve in these areas, and if you can master and effectively show these qualities, it will most definitely give you a more executive presence within the workplace. Ultimately, improving your chances to work your way up the ladder.
According to Forbes.com, Gravitas:
‘Gravitas is confidence and expertise. It gives weight to your thoughts, words and actions, causing others to gravitate towards you. It’s knowing your stuff cold, which gives you a credible, influential voice. To develop it, first give value to yourself, your thoughts and knowledge. Then, become a subject matter expert in your area and show that you are able to answer any question thrown at you.’ (Source: Forbes)
Working on your ‘gravitas’ takes time and to be successful, it needs to become part of your whole way of working. It is not a small task.
Here are a few pointers to get you on your way:
- Know your stuff
- Become an expert one field – don’t try to master them all
- Whatever you do, do it well
- Be mindful of what you say, how you say it and when you say it
- Have a quiet confidence in yourself
These are just a few pointers and if you’re looking for further advice on how to become a successful leader – mind tools.com have a great free tool to point you in the right direction.
Corporate Class Inc
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