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In a recent publication of over 15 years of research, several Harvard business school professors discovered people quickly answer two questions when they first meet someone: Can I trust you? Can I respect you?
This is referred to as the warmth and competence dimensions. In order of importance for professionals, the study found that competence (respect) was more significant even though warmth (trust) is more important in the long run. For young business professionals, such as MBA interns, trust is an aspect that is not prioritized when it should. The focus on one’s strengths is important only after gaining someone’s trust. The priority for professionals should be on social events, asking for help, and becoming approachable. By combining these traits in this order will build confidence with the individual and admiration that your strengths become a gift than a threat.
This excellent advice can be utilized by everyone. Prioritize your goals to include the warmth (trust) factor first than display your strengths-competence (respect) to gain acceptance and possibly you next new contract, job, customer, etc.
Gary Kapanowski – Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt – Excelsior
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