Two things that people judge when you first meet
Modern psychology says that we have a view of the person we see for the first time in a matter of seconds. And this first impression is often what decides whether to accept or reject a candidate for a vacancy, a business offer, or … an invitation.
Amy Cuddy, a well-known American psychologist at Harvard Business School, says that people who see you for the first time will quickly answer these two questions in their minds.
1) Can I trust him / her?
2) Does he deserve my respect?
According to social psychologists, the first question assesses your warmth and the second your competence. Warmth is a category that measures trustworthiness, tolerance or friendliness. Simply put: if people are fine with you.
Competence in turn characterizes your intelligence, talent, knowledge, practical skills. Simply put: how much can you do.
In the labor market and in the business world, competencies are especially valued. We are proud of that in our professional CVs.
However, Amy Cuddy argues that warmth actually plays a much bigger role. According to her, people will get a picture of you, and it doesn’t matter that they are professionals who are looking for the CEO of a major company.
Competence is, of course, no less important. However, people will start evaluating this only after you have gained their trust.
From an evolutionary point of view, it makes sense. If our prehistoric ancestor wanted to survive, he had to be able to quickly estimate whether he had friendly intentions or was going to kill him. Only when he was sure of this thing could he be interested in the stranger’s talent in hunting mammoths.
We should think about it, advises Amy Cuddy. And it recalls the common mistake of ambitious people who try so hard to convince everyone around them of their abilities when they forget about social life or lack the courage to ask for help with a problem they can’t cope with. Their surroundings then begin to perceive them as cold, inaccessible and suspicious. And he prefers to choose someone else to cooperate with. Someone friendly and trustworthy.
Article was prepared by Lucie Teisler, Managing Partner of Anderson Willinger, executive search.