When people meet us for the first time they judge us on these two bases –
- Can I trust this person?
- Can I respect this person?
Psychologists refer to these dimensions as warmth and competence respectively, and ideally you would want full marks on both.
Professionally they give more importance to competence as it proves you are smart and talented which is the only thing required.
But in actuality warmth, or trustworthiness, is the most important quality on which people judge you.
While competence is highly valued, Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy says it is evaluated only after trust is established. And focusing too much on displaying your strength can backfire.
“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.” – Amy Cuddy