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Having gravitas at work means you are taken seriously, your contributions are considered important, and you are trusted and respected.
Gravitas increases your ability to persuade and influence and is likely to fuel the extent to which you rise in an organization. The organization also benefits: You’re more likely to add value if your voice is taken seriously.
If you’re explicit with your values and goals, you are more likely to act in ways that support them.
Ask yourself, “If someone were to describe me to others, what would I want them to say?” Or, like Mitan, set a specific goal that relates to your work, and find your own ways to achieve it that are in line with your personal values.
Great leaders proactively seek to discover what others’ experiences of them are, take responsibility for them, and learn from them.
For example, “What could I do differently to make my leadership and our working relationship more effective?” He asks his team and peers for real-time feedback after any meetings or presentations.
When getting a cursory response — “No, that was great, you were excellent” — ask follow up questions. “Thank you, and what are two to three things I could do differently next time to be better?”
Carve out small windows of time between small talk and specific agenda points to find out what’s going on with and motivating the people you’re working with.
For example "how things are going for you — any changes since we last spoke, what your priorities are right now, and what are the biggest challenges you’re facing.” You may feel that you’re being nosy, but whether it’s with colleagues or clients, when you ask these questions with genuine interest they tend to be well received.
“I’m not confident enough. I should be more confident, I know, but I’m just not.” Telling yourself you don’t have enough confidence can be a vicious cycle, with that negative self-talk decreasing your confidence further.
Instead, choose to be courageous, acting in pursuit of their goals even though they perceive risks and threats. It's okay to be vulnerability and find the need for courage. Confidence can often grow from these acts of courage.
Integrity actually fuels courage. As we commit to integrity, we ignite our ability to speak up when it’s not comfortable and to share our views that might be different and therefore risky.
In doing so, we increase the extent to which we positively stand out at work, and we can do so with authenticity.
The best kind of gravitas comes from this authenticity, from deep interpersonal trust that you build by being clear about the impact you want to make on others, empathizing and finding out about the people you work with, and adhering to your sense of integrity. You can increase your gravitas and still be you.
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