Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy's new book "Presence" reveals the two areas people use to judge you within seconds. They quickly answer two questions:
Can I trust this person?
Can I respect this person?
She refers to them as warmth and competence respectively. And guess what? The one that is vital is not the competence but the warmth. People want to trust. Sure, competence is necessary but it is not the emotional driver that trust is.
This book is on my reading list because it supports a strong tenet of mine when it comes to virtual schools.
Parents enrolling in your school want to trust you. I refer to it as the emotional side of the aisle. Competence is the logical side, and warmth is the emotional.
Tuition-free, rigorous, accredited, parent satisfaction, and all the other current methods of outreach to families by virtual schools place far too much emphasis on the competence (on the logical) -- thinking that this will sway families to select their school.
It is time virtual schools tapped into the emotional side, the warmth side, and work hard to give families something to trust in.