Common Untrue Myths about Gravitas

  1. People are born with charisma or gravitas - it’s not something you can develop

  2. You can’t be perceived as having gravitas if you’re not academic

  3. People who have gravitas are always serious

  4. You have to be of mature years to have gravitas

  5. Once you’re labeled as lacking gravitas, you’re stuck with it

10 Easy Ways to Start Developing Gravitas Now

  1. 1.Take yourself seriously. This does not mean being self-centred or egotistical. It means treating yourself with the same regard and courtesy you would afford to somebody you respect.

  1. 2.B R E A T H E!  People who are perceived as lacking gravitas tend to take shallow breaths, breathing only into the top of the lungs, and are almost always unaware that they do this. Breathing more deeply and slowly takes conscious effort and will feel strange at first, but will help you to feel more centred and relaxed.

  1. 3.Cultivate stillness. Notice when you tend to fidget or jiggle, and stop. People with gravitas tend to have an aura of stillness that marks them out.

  1. 4.When you’re with other people, really listen to them. This means never interrupting or rushing in with your own ideas as soon as they draw breath. And don’t rehearse what you’re going to reply while the other person is speaking. Instead, be genuinely interested in what the other person is saying (even if you disagree) - and keep on listening until you’re sure they’ve finished speaking. When you have really listened, what you then say will be more meaningful, relevant and impactful - in other words, have more gravitas.

  1. 5.Keep it simple. Be clear what you want to say and then say it as concisely as you can. Clarity is a rare quality and one that people with gravitas characterise.

  1. 6.Recognise if you’ve made a mistake and own up. Trying to cover up or ignore the fact that you’ve screwed up only diminishes your stature. People with real gravitas will openly acknowledge if they’re wrong or mistaken.

  1. 7.Be generous. Be generous with your acknowledgement, with praise, with appreciation of others and their achievements, with your time and with your knowledge. People who have gravitas include and acknowledge others in their success.

  1. 8.Become comfortable with silence. Pause before speaking and take your time. It will always feel much longer to you than to your audience and makes it  much easier for them to take in what you’re saying than if you rush to speak.

  1. 9.Don’t always agree. Mindless nodding or agreeing when really you have alternative thoughts or suggestions can come across as obsequious and irritating. People with gravitas weigh up the appropriateness of the situation and if they don’t agree with what’s being said will either remain quiet or have the courage to offer their opinion honestly and calmly.

  1. 10.  Always do what you say you’ll do and own up if something prevents you. Even if they don’t mention it, people will always notice if you don’t. People with gravitas demonstrate consistency and reliability in their behaviour. Being recognised as trustworthy is an integral aspect of having gravitas.

Free White Paper on Developing Gravitas

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