Wednesday, November 26, 2014

How "warm" are your interpersonal skills?

Stuart McDaniels,
Materials Manager
A few years ago, there were some interesting studies released that discussed “warmth” being the most powerful personality trait in social judgment. The researchers predicted that by holding a warm or cold beverage it would increase the feelings of interpersonal warmth or coldness, without the person’s knowledge.

Two studies were conducted. The first demonstrated participants who briefly held a cup of hot (versus iced) coffee judged a target person as having a “warmer” personality. In the second study participants holding a hot (versus cold) therapeutic pad were more likely to choose a gift for a friend instead of themselves.

In other words, holding the warm object leads to a behavior that is more generous. This is great if you are trying to make new friends, but could be a problem at the negotiating table.

If you are planning to discuss a business deal, purchasing a new vehicle or even talking with your kids about what time you want them home for the evening, remember to put down that cup of coffee. Also, if you can, find a way to get a warm beverage into the other party’s hand. It could lead to a better outcome for you.

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at

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