In the previous lesson, we looked at three factors that are the key to exuding that magic ingredient of social influence called ‘Gravitas’.
In this lesson, we will shed light on two more elements of gravitas.
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In the previous lesson, we had looked at how grace under fire, displaying quiet confidence and perceived extraversion are key to exuding that magic ingredient of social influence called Gravitas.
In this lesson, my colleague and I will share with you two other elements of gravitas that you would do well to imbibe.
The first of these two ingredients is based on the discovery by Psychologist Edward Thorndike called the Halo Effect.
Thorndike noticed that in military evaluations, officers who were ranked highly in some qualities were ranked highly in other, unrelated categories as well. Officers, who ranked lower in some categories often had low rankings in others.
Thorndike’s study revealed that a strong positive impression — based on, say, the officer’s physique or attention to neatness and punctuality — was enough to generate an overall “good feeling”. Consequently, the evaluator viewed and evaluated the officer as being good in other areas of the evaluation, as well.
Bottom line: physical appearances play a huge role in social influence.
You may think it shouldn’t matter what people look like. But, people form opinions about you based on your appearance and this can impact your ability to influence others.
And we don’t want to belabor this point, considering we are all well-aware of the need for professionals to dress for success. However, here are two points to bear in mind:
Manage your appearances and you will exude gravitas, that magical ingredient that allows you to influence thought and action. Let’s turn our attention to the last ingredient of gravitas, which my colleague will be sharing with you.
“Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Perhaps, it is that brilliant idea, proposal or point of view that you want your audience to buy in to. Perhaps you have performed brilliantly at work, and you want your audience to agree.
These situations, and many like these, require you to possess the power of persuasive oratory; evolved public speaking skills, in other words.
Your body language, your voice, the visual aids you’ve designed, your ability to “work your audience” and your ability to manage stage fear must all come together if you are to effectively influence your audience. Shorn of these, your speech – irrespective of its contents – can end up being drab and unpersuasive.
You don’t want that.