To be, or Not to Be Authentic?: Harvard’s Laura Huang and Francesca Gino Explore Authenticity and Performance
When it comes to making a first impression, whether it be a job interview, a networking event, or a pitch, many people tend to cater to the other person’s interests, rather than behave according to their own. But does this approach help or harm our chances of getting what we want? Harvard professors and fellow Lavin Speakers Laura Huang and Francesca Gino explore in their new research.
It turns out, laughing at your job interviewer’s jokes or pretending to adopt an interest in their hobbies won’t necessarily land you a job. New research by Laura Huang, Francesca Gino, and Ovul Sezer suggests that catering to someone else’s interests can actually increase anxiety and, as a result, hinder, instead of improve, performance. Why? In a field study where entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to potential investors, the researchers found that anxiety was heightened by trying to anticipate what another person wants to hear. Against conventional wisdom, it appears that catering to someone else, rather than behaving authentically, will hurt our chances of success.
Read the full report here.
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