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SXSW Interactive 2015

Trust Power Ego: The Science of Communicating

We think we know how we come across to other people - but surprisingly often, we’re wrong. Decades of research shows that there are very weak correlations between how others see us and how we believe we are seen.
On the bright side, other people’s biases are predictable, not random. We can anticipate how we will be seen, once we understand how perception really works.

People can never see you “as you are” – our brains are just not wired for objectivity. But after this session, you will finally be able to see what others see - and many of your past difficulties, frustrations, and misunderstandings will begin to make sense.

We'll focus on the 3 most powerful "lenses" that bias how we are perceived: TRUST (worn when they aren't sure if you are friend or foe), POWER (worn when one of you has more of it), and EGO (worn when their self-esteem is threatened.) Understand the lenses, and you'll (finally) be able to come across as you intend to, especially when it matters most.

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  1. Why don't I come across the way I intend to?
  2. How do I get other people to be more trusting and comfortable with me?
  3. Why doesn't my boss really get me?
  4. Sometimes I make pretty bad first impressions - why is that?
  5. Why is there so much miscommunication and misunderstanding -at work, and everywhere else?



Heidi Grant Halvorson, Assoc. Director, Motivation Science Center, Columbia Business School

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Work and Career
  • Track 2
  • Level: Advanced
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