One of the common goals in coaching is to increase influence and be more influential.

Just how do you increase your influence?

In a world full of clamour and noise, what can you do to rise above that and be noticed?

To be more influential, start with warmth.

Leaders typically emphasise their competence or expertise with others. Probably because this seems to be standard operating system. But leading through competence often backfires. It can alienate rather than influence. We’ve all known the boss who seems to know everything, but no-one likes.

Social psychologists like Amy Cuddy and Peter Glick have researched interpersonal attributes over many decades and the result is pretty much the same. Warmth and competence are the two key criteria by which we judge others.

If you overdo competence without warmth, you’ll likely inspire envy. If you overdo warmth though, and underdo competence, you’ll evoke pity. Manage neither and contempt will be the result.

Admiration is the result of warmth first, then a blend of competence and warmth. It’s definitely the sweet spot for leading.

It’s warmth first, because:

✔︎ we need to feel a sense of belonging – until we have that we don’t connect

✔︎ if you care about others’ needs and interests, you must be able to maintain your connection with them despite your status.


be more influential with warmth


👉🏼What are your reflections on the leaders around you: what’s their warmth to competence ratio?

How might you increase your warmth in order to be more influential?

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