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So, What is your Gravitas Score as an Aspiring Leader in the Workplace? 2015

Stop all of that performance evaluation stuff you’ve been doing. I’m about to share with you how to spot a “leader” in the workplace.

Did you know that Marie Claire (a women’s fashion magazine) and the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) conducted a yearlong study involving 268 senior-level executives and 4,000 college-educated professionals? The study findings suggested the following:

  • There are skills exhibited that may not result in an accumulation of bonus points, but their absence will result in a loss of points (like demerits).

  • There are required skills that form a perception resulting in the assignment of your gravitas score.

  • There are, therefore, behaviors to avoid that may keep you off the “list” of promotable candidates.

So what are the behaviors to put forth and what are the behaviors to avoid?

Apparently, it boils down to that word gravitas. You know, that politicians have been throwing around over the last few years. I know you all know what it means. Don’t you? Well, let me help you. (In exchange you won’t ask me what I’m doing reading Marie Claire.)

Gravitas is having a serious air, a sense of dignity, an air of importance, and a level of individual substance that suggests the depth of personality. It can be observable in excellent communication skills and polished experience.

And because these folks realize how much you love lists, here are the top five communication mistakes an up-and-coming executive does not want to make:

No. 1: Racially Biased Comments – Comments that give insight into biases were identified as major blunders for both sexes because they are considered to reflect poor judgment and low EQ.

No. 2: Telling Off-Color Jokes – Making people around them uncomfortable and the inability to read their audience.

No. 3: Crying – Workplace tears apparently do not communicate leadership quality…especially for men. (I did not do this survey. Don’t shoot the messenger.) Crying is interpreted as an inability to control emotions.

No. 4: Sounding Uneducated – It’s an intellectual level “tell”. Sounding uneducated can undermine the perception of competency. It’s sort of an “open mouth insert foot” barometer. And,

No. 5: Swearing – Fast becoming “uncool”, cursing on the job was called entering a “communication minefield”. And done via email is really, double-uncool. It leaves a paper trail that proves at least 3 of the 4 prior miscues.

So, have you got your GRAVITAS on?


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