In a perfect–or at least more rational world–the most qualified people would rise fastest. But new research suggests that just appearing to be competent is as important to getting ahead.
How so? Think about why brainstorming has a loudmouth problem: The person with the best ideas isn’t the one who gets heard most. Rather, it’s the most assertive person–unless you find a way to correct it. Since business is done by people, and people aren’t always totally rational, some irrational things happen. Like deferring to the most confident person in the room and allowing a power dynamic to develop from there.
That is according to the work of Gavin Kilduff and Adam Galinsky. As a blogger at the Association for Psychological Science said recently, the New York University and Columbia Business School professors thought that the feelings people had upon entering group would shape their long-term status in that group.
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