Amy Cuddy: Two criteria people judge you on when they first meet you

Cudy says your level of trustworthiness, or warmth, is the most important factor in how people initially perceive you, yet many judge wrongly that the second factor, characterized as competence, is the most important.

  • Published:
Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy. play

Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy.

(Getty)
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When we encounter people for the first time, we part ways thinking what the other party thinks about us. Questions like "did I leave a good impression?" runs through our thought especially if it was a business meeting.

But Presence, a new book by Harvard University psychologist Amy Cuddy, say people judge you based on two criteria.

  • Can I trust this person?

  • Can I respect this person?

But Presence, a new book by Harvard University psychologist Amy Cuddy, say people judge you base on two criteria. play

But Presence, a new book by Harvard University psychologist Amy Cuddy, say people judge you base on two criteria.

 

Cudy says your level of trustworthiness, or warmth, is the most important factor in how people initially perceive you, yet many judge wrongly that the second factor, characterized as competence, is the most important.

"From an evolutionary perspective,” Cuddy says, “it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust.”

Cuddy makes the point that though competence is valued to an extent, it is only appreciated when trust is established. And that when one tries to prove his strength, it could backfire because you may come across as manipulative.

"If someone you're trying to influence doesn't trust you, you're not going to get very far; in fact, you might even elicit suspicion because you come across as manipulative," Cuddy writes. "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."

Cudy further makes an interesting observation about MBA interns: they are more concerned coming across as smart and competence and that could lead them not to ask for help, come off as unapproachable  and miss social events.

 

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