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63. First impressions at work. The two dimensions everyone is subconsciously evaluating.

We’ve all heard the phrase - first impressions matter - but what exactly is being evaluated when we first meet others while at work?

Some scholars advocate that people, more or less, are considering where we fall on two distinct factors: (1) warm versus cold and (2) competent versus incompetent.

Some of us come across as warm such that we’re welcoming, interested, engaged, and open-minded. On the other hand, some of us might come across as the opposite - uninterested and aloof.

Additionally, so of us come across as competent such that we’re capable of doing our job well. Alternatively, some of us might come across as less than reliable in our ability to get things done.

It’s important to remember that our first impressions don’t define us. We might very well be warm and competent, which is the ideal combination. The key, then, is that when we first meet new colleagues we should self-regulate our behaviors such that we don’t say or do things that make them assume otherwise.


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