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First Impressions Start with Your Face

DOMINANT FACEYour Dominant Face is the face you wear when you don’t think you are communicating with anyone.

[Our use of the term “dominant,” relates to its definition “predominant,” rather than the “controlling or exerting authority,” definition.  Your Dominant Face is the facial expression that you “wear” more than any other when you are not communicating with others.]

A Good Dominant Face is simply a hint of a smile – as if that person is having pleasant thoughts.  Most people have Bad Dominant Faces.  Walk through an airport, or a mall and you’ll see loads of Bad Dominant Faces.  Good ones are rare, which is one of the reasons we’re drawn to them when we see them.  As you can see from the photos below, there is a subtle difference between a Good and a Bad Dominant Face. But in terms of Instinctual Trust, that difference is huge.

A Good Dominant Face is a vital part of your role as a client, as well as your role as a witness.  In fact, the Dominant Face of a trustworthy person is the primary element that (for observers) defines the character of his or her charisma. Even if you are not testifying in your case, the arbitration panel, trial judge or jury members are watching you like a hawk. They are trying to figure out the “good guys” vs. the “bad guys” in this case, and their instinctual brains are judging your trustworthiness, even without you saying a word.

There’s a reason why the most famous and most viewed painting in the world is so.  It’s because she’s wearing a perfect Good Dominant Face and people from all over the world – from every culture, are instinctually drawn to it.


For those observing you, your Dominant Face reveals who you really are.  Instinctually, we trust Good Dominate Faces and distrust Bad ones.  This begins at birth when we respond to pleasant faces and slight smiles – and are frightened by frowns and by big exaggerated smiles.

So, if you want to be perceived as the most trusted person in the room during your deposition, arbitration, mediation or trial, make sure your Good Dominant Face works with you, not against you.


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