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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars warmth is top
An easy-to-read and thorough book on a fascinating subject: influence.

Strength and quality are universal dimensions that shape our judgements of others. While strength and warmth (affection) are top qualities, also involved are empathy, familiarity and love (as three different things: romantic love, sexual attraction, general feelings of attachment). The book...
Published 8 months ago by D&D

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Possibly for people who are totally new to the subject ...
Possibly for people who are totally new to the subject of leadership traits and styles, this book would be insightful. However, it didn't travel deep enough into the latest analysis of what makes
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars warmth is top, 18 Aug. 2014
By 
D&D - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
An easy-to-read and thorough book on a fascinating subject: influence.

Strength and quality are universal dimensions that shape our judgements of others. While strength and warmth (affection) are top qualities, also involved are empathy, familiarity and love (as three different things: romantic love, sexual attraction, general feelings of attachment). The book mostly focuses on warmth and strength.

Strength and warmth are complementary, with much interplay between them (the ratios of each vary with each person). If you can only offer one, warmth is most people's most important criterion but one cold incident can downgrade their assessment. Strength worse inversely: just one demonstration goes a long way. It's usually assumed that strength/power is an opposer of love but the authors quote Martin Luther King Jr: power without love is reckless and abusive while love without power is sentimental and anemic.

The five main traits of personality determined by psychology are relevant too. Conscientiousness is a form of strength; absence of neuroticism allows self-confidence, which projects strength; agreeableness is a kind of warmth; extraversion has aspects of both warmth and strength - as does openness. Because of cultural expectations (worldwide) men need to show somewhat more strength than warmth and vice versa for women.

As well as gender, age, colour and looks all play a part in assessments of warmth and of strength. Age matters when we perceive noticeable changes in someone's level of energy, alertness and engagement with the world. The darker your colour, the cooler the perception of you (strong but cold). The baby-faced are perceived as warmer but beauty trumps all (and good looks have been found to correlate with actual strengths). Beauty is considered both warm and strong but that does not mean we admire everyone we find attractive (this is not just about looks) and in the real world beauty can be a mixed blessing.

The signals you send with your gender, ethnicity, looks and age are more or less fixed but behaviour can change. Nonverbal communication is a shortcut: when all the signals - facial expressions, posture, gestures, vocal tone, the actual words and your use of space - line up to tell a consistent story, we are convincing. (standing close is warm, keeping your distance is cold but more powerful, taking up lots of space by sprawling is powerful, head tilt is warm but not powerful, being touch averse is more powerful but less warm). Eye contact, mirroring, handshakes, hugs, gait, various parts of the body, control of the conversation, clothing and style choices, hair, are all briefly covered. Verbal strength, especially the importance of emotional validation of others, is described in some detail.

Whether to stress strength or warmth depends on your role: salesperson? manager? and on the group ("hard/hierarchical" or "soft/collaborative"? what women want, what men want and sexuality, long-term relationship goals, relationship problems, parenting, leadership, public speaking, politics, online representation are all discussed as well as how to act in a crisis:
- to project warmth: validate, express appropriate remorse and release timely, accurate information
- to project strength: express determination to fix things, express clear and thorough understanding of the problem, and explain the concrete actions you are taking to fix things
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How and why, only when we cultivate both strength and warmth in our lives are we "worthy of admiration", 16 Aug. 2013
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut are convinced that certain people possess both strength and warmth and this combination helps to explain why they are so highly admired and why they have so much influence. Others are attracted to them because they have the ability and determination to get things done but also because they are loving, caring, and empathic. "For our purposes, warmth is what people feel when they recognize they share interests and concerns. It is a sense of being on the same team. If strength is about whether someone can carry out their intentions, warmth is about whether you will be happy with the result. When people project warmth, we like them." We care about them because they care about us.

Readers will appreciate Neffinger and Kohut's use of primary and secondary sources that broaden and deepen the context, the frame-of-reference, for they key ideas. For example, research by psychologists Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson on how different cultural traditions around the world define character. They found that there are six moral virtues at the core of all of them, six forms of strength and the others of warmth: courage, temperance, wisdom, justice, humanity, and transcendence. (Page 23) Annotated "Notes" are provided on Pages 257-275. These are among the dozens of passages of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Neffinger and Kohut's coverage.

o Strength vs. Warmth (Pages 10-18)
o Strength + Warmth (18-23)
o Quick and Dirty Judgment (27-28)
o Ethnicity (43-52)
o Body Type, and, Sexual Orientation and Identity (66-70)
o Nonverbal Communication (76-111)
o Mirroring, and, Style (120-135)
o Strength + Warmth, Word by Word (160-168)
o Making It Happen (168-181)
o Into the Wild (183-184)
o Leadership (206-209)
o Online (226-230)
o Unspoken Signals (236-238)

As I worked m y way through the book, I began to formulate my own list of the attributes common among all the compelling people I have known. Not the most intelligent, nor the most physically attractive, charming, or generous. Rather, those who have a certain [begin italics] presence [end italics] that can sometimes be initially intimidating but soon becomes endearing. Presumably many of those who read this book will have their own list. That said, strength and warmth (not one but both) only have meaning if (HUGE "if") they are (a) authentic and (b) demonstrated by consistent behavior over time.

When concluding their book, Neffinger and Kohut observe, "The question of how to use strength and warmth in your own life begins with your intentions. Who do you want to be? What are you trying to achieve? Does the strength and warmth expressed through deeds align with what you project in your everyday social interactions? Do you use your strength in the service of others? Do you use your warmth to minimize painful conflicts when you can? Only you can answer for yourself, and there is nothing simple or straightforward about it. It takes courage (strength) to be rigorously honest about your intentions (warmth)."

I responded immediately to the first question, then hesitated and reflected on what I had learned throughout the narrative while correlating key points with my own circumstances. I re-read the five questions and began to jot down words and phrases in response to each. My conclusion is that there is compelling need for me to improve in all areas of my life. That is my goal and I am grateful to John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut for providing the information, insights, and counsel that I will need to achieve that objective.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was compelled to read more, 19 July 2014
By 
G. Russell (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I run a business where leadership, public speaking and frequent sales presentations are common. I have an analytical mind with a preference for clear, scientically supported information. As I turned the pages I was surprised by the sheer volume of useful, applicable and practical advice contained within this modest book. I would recommend to anyone.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 7 Aug. 2014
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Interesting points. I would recommend this book for anyone looking to further their career or looking to supervise or manage a team.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, 5 Feb. 2015
By 
D Poisson "Perennialist" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential (Kindle Edition)
Useful through its practicality and applicability, this book offers real-world suggestions based on a number of criteria as opposed to the usual one size fits all approach common in such books. Here the authors examine a human trait (gender, race, height, neutral facial expression etc) and offer advise for every combination.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant, 31 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential (Kindle Edition)
An absolutely brilliant book on the warmth/competency framework, the anatomy of first impressions and how people see us. Read it. It is a great read, very down to earth, very useful and applicable.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Possibly for people who are totally new to the subject ..., 21 July 2014
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Possibly for people who are totally new to the subject of leadership traits and styles, this book would be insightful. However, it didn't travel deep enough into the latest analysis of what makes
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ... have not read it all yet but it is good., 5 Sept. 2014
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I have not read it all yet but it is good.
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