Warmth vs. Competence?

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Approaching the end of the summer time (if you live in the northern hemisphere) it is a good time to ask questions about the way we relate and lead.

In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review Amy Cuddy and others ask the old Machiavellian question: “Is is better to be loved or feared?”

At the time Machiavelli answered it was safer to be feared…

Cuddy and her colleagues say that Machiavelli was partly right, but the question is not love (warmth) OR fear (competences). It is which one comes first!

In the workplace, people tend to first emphasise strength, which according to research is the wrong approach as it alienates and induces fear. Competence without warmth elicits Envy. Just Warmth without Competence elicits pity…

Rather one should start with (authentic) warmth as it is the conduit of influence. Warmth followed by competence leads to admiration. Warmth facilitates trust, communication and the absorption of ideas.

So, prioritise warmth and then let your competence shine!

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