Many people assume that if they're smart enough, skilled enough, or competent enough at their job, they'll naturally earn the respect of those around them.
However, according to Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy, competence is only the second most important trait for earning respect. Surprisingly, the first is warmth.
According to Cuddy, when we meet a new person, we ask ourselves two questions: "Can we trust this person?" and "Can we respect them?" Trust comes from being warm, while respect comes from being competent.
But here's the catch: According to her research, trust needs to happen before respect. This means a person needs to find you warm before they can ever respect you. She writes, "From an evolutionary perspective, it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust."
If you want to earn respect, you first need to be perceived as warm by those around you.
To project warmth, it's key to put yourself in the shoes of those around you.
Really listening to those who are talking to you, and showing empathy where appropriate, will help those around you feel like you really care.
- John Rampton (modified by Amr Badran)