Amy Cuddy, a psychologist at the Harvard Business School, has been studying first impressions for more than a decade. She and her colleagues found that we make snap judgments about other people that answer two primary questions:
- Can I trust this person?
- Can I respect this person’s capabilities?
According to Cuddy’s research, 80% to 90% of a first impression is based on these two traits. Subconsciously, you and the people you meet are asking yourselves, “Can I trust that this person has good intentions toward me?” and “Is this person capable?”
We often assume that competence is the most important factor, and people have a tendency to play this up when they meet someone; however, Cuddy’s research shows that trust is the most important factor. In order for your competence to matter, people must trust you first. If there’s no trust, people actually perceive competence as a…