Warmth Mistakes are Costlier than Competence Mistakes

As we wrote about previously, we were lucky to hear from Amy Cuddy at the CHIME CIO Fall Forum. During her talk she made this incredible comment which was captured in a tweet by Jonathan Fritz:

If you’re a leader of any kind, then you’ve probably experienced this. As people, we’re extremely forgiving. That’s particularly true of mistakes where the person had no malintent, but for some reason they made a mistake. I guess we could call that a competence mistake. However, when someone makes a warmth mistake, that’s much harder to forgive.

We’ve all heard how important first impressions are to a relationship. When we first meet someone, is that a competence or a warmth test? You don’t know the person and so the first time you meet someone it’s an almost completely warmth experience. That’s what makes them so powerful, but also so costly if you do them wrong. First impressions really do matter and if you do it poorly it’s usually because you made a warmth mistake.

The great thing about these ideas is that it’s really not as hard as you think to avoid these type of warmth mistakes. The following three quotes from Amy Cuddy’s talk illustrate how just being present can do so much to help you avoid a warmth mistake.

There’s a true power in being present with someone. I think most of us don’t realize how valuable this skill can be to your career. In fact, it’s extemely valuable in every part of your life. My favorite part about the concept of being present is that anyone can achieve it. Sure, there are some that are better at it than others, but we’re all capable of being present.

This holiday season, test it out on your friends and family. Notice the times when you’re present and how that impacts the people you are with. Notice the times when you’re not present and how that impacts the relationship. It’s a powerful concept for work and life.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.