Can I trust this person? Can I respect this person? According to a recent study by Havard Psychologists, these are the two key questions people ask when they first meet you - but which is more important in a professional context? In an ideal world, we'd be both trusted and respected by our peers and colleagues. But if you had to choose just one quality, what would you go for? Perhaps you'd consider respect as more significant, as after all, this has a direct impact on your perceived level of competence and your ability to do your job, doesn't it? Not according to this Harvard study, which argues that in fact before respect can be gained, trust among colleagues must first be established.
If someone you're trying to influence doesn't trust you, you're not going to get very far. A warm, trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration and respect, but only after you've established trust does your strength become a gift rather than a threat.