gravitas

Gravitas & Power Questions

Gravitas is the elusive quality of being taken seriously. In a meeting, when you speak, do people spontaneously quiet down, listen to you, and take notes? If so, you have gravitas. If not, you have an opportunity to increase your executive presence so your ideas get taken more seriously. In every meeting, there are two [...]

Too Good to be Ignored

Many people manage their careers by figuring out how to get ahead without actually earning it. This confuses me. While there are legitimate shortcuts to getting ahead (such as learning from a mentor, building a network of collaborative contacts), ultimately it really helps if you’re really good at what you do. To be more specific, [...]

How to Be Taken Seriously

In a meeting, two people can express the exact same idea, and one will be overlooked while the other will be taken seriously. If you’re like me, you’ve witnessed this phenomenon your entire career. You may have even been the person whose ideas were overlooked. Why does this happen? Clearly, the reaction you receive is [...]

You Must be a Doctor...

The oddest thing has been happening to me over the last 10 years. One out of every three times I visit a healthcare provider, someone at the doctor’s office or hospital asks me if I’m a medical doctor. I’ve had emergency room physicians, triage nurses, physician assistants, and x-ray technicians all ask me the same [...]

How to Be Insightful

In a meeting, you’ll notice the some people’s ideas automatically get taken seriously while others do not. This dynamic occurs due to two reasons — one obvious, one less so. First, some people come up with bad ideas — ideas that are impractical, logically incorrect, or deeply flawed. These ideas should legitimately be discounted. But, [...]

The Power of Influence

In any company, there are broad categories of power. One is formal authority. The other is influence. When you lead an organization of 500 employees, you have formal authority. Your 500 employees will listen to you because you have the power to fire them if they don’t. That’s formal authority. When you’re so deeply respected [...]

Power for the Powerless

In industry, whether your ideas get taken seriously depends on more than the quality of your thoughts. If the receptionist shares an idea and the CEO shares the exact same idea, more people will take the idea seriously when it comes from the CEO. Most people intuitively grasp the last sentence to be true but [...]

Overcoming Bias & Prejudice

In every country, industry, and organization, there exist two categories of people. The first category is high-status individuals. The second is low-status. Your status is determined by your ethnicity, gender, educational, achievement, and job title. If you’re in a low-status position, your ideas will automatically be perceived as less valid, less correct, and less influential [...]

Why Brilliant Ideas Aren't Enough

Two people are in the same meeting. Both express the same idea. One gets ignored, while the other is acknowledged as being insightful. Why does this happen? The short answer is the person who got seen, heard, and acknowledged possessed gravitas — an executive presence where others take your ideas seriously merely because the words [...]

Halo Effect

In psychology, the “halo effect” refers to a psychological tendency where the impression of a person in one area carries over to another area. The tendency was first identified and named by psychologist Edward Thorndike in 1920. In his research, he observed that people seen positively in one light tend to be assumed to have [...]

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