- Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy has been studying first impressions 15 years. In her new book, “Presence,” Cuddy says people quickly answer two questions when they first meet you: Can I trust this person? Can I respect this person?
- Psychologists refer to these dimensions as warmth and competence respectively, and ideally you want to be perceived as having both. Most people, especially in a professional context, believe that competence is the more important factor. After all, they want to prove that they are smart and talented enough to handle your business.
- But in fact warmth, or trustworthiness, is the most important factor in how people evaluate you. “From an evolutionary perspective,” Cuddy says, “it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust.”
“A warm, trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration, but only after you’ve established trust does your strength become a gift rather than a threat.”
Via Business Insider