Words: “Trust is the conduit for influence …”

Amy Cuddy - Trust is the conduit for influence

Amy Cuddy is famous for her research recognizing how our body language sends messages not just to others, but to ourselves. “Power posing” in private for 5 minutes changes our body chemistry and can do more to boost self-confidence than a pep talk.

Amy-Cuddy-Power-Pose cropHer TED Talk on that research has been viewed more than 27 million times.

In a recent Idea.Ted.com article, she shares a little wisdom on how we use our judgement in evaluating people and how two dimensions LIKE (warmth/trustworthiness) and RESPECT (power/competence) influence us.

“People judge trustworthiness before competence. They make inferences of trustworthiness and warmth before competence and power. And the reason is that it answers the question, ‘Is this person friend or foe?’

With a stranger, you first want to know what their intentions are toward you, and then you want to know, can they carry out those intentions?

You have to connect with people and build trust before you can influence or lead them. Trust is the conduit for influence; it’s the medium through which ideas travel. If they don’t trust you, your ideas are just dead in the water. If they trust you, they’re open and they can hear what you’re offering. Having the best idea is worth nothing if people don’t trust you.”

Amy Cuddy, idea.ted.com


Amy Cuddy, TED Talks, CC2.0
Amy Cuddy, TED Talks, CC2.0


Wife, mother
Social psychologist, researcher
Author, teacher, speaker



1 Comment

  1. One aspect of media training our communications group would address was body language and how that influences perception. Glad for the reminder, as our body language also influences how we sound on the phone. If you are slouching during a phone discussion, you will most likely reflect that positioning in your voice. Totally agree about trustworthiness and likable as being key attributes for whether a relationship can ensure. Personally, no trust destroys a relationship. Thanks Linda!


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