Strategy Careers May 10, 2016

Video: Are You Making the Wrong First Impression?

When building trust, it is not enough to demonstrate competence.

Minerva Studio via iStock

Based on insights from

Adam Waytz

Col. John O'Grady

When you have the opportunity to make a first impression, what impression do you try to make?

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In business interactions, most people try—mistakenly, it turns out—to show how competent they are. Displaying competence is important, but the most helpful impression to leave is warmth. Conveying to others that you care about them opens the door to trust in ways that virtuosity and acumen do not.

Adam Waytz, an associate professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School, explains.

Col. John A. O’Grady, a military fellow in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, explains how balancing the dimensions of trust can have a profound impact on the successful resolutions of crises. He relates a time when a meeting with an Afghani governor was derailed by an extreme difficulty asking for directions.

The Trust Project is a unique body of knowledge, connecting scholars and executives from diverse backgrounds to share ideas, research, and actionable insights in a series of videos for research and management. Learn more about the project and its development in conjunction with the Kellogg Markets and Customers Initiative.

Featured Faculty

Adam Waytz

Assistant Professor of Management & Organizations

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