The Power of Positive Expectations by @Midlife_Women

by Carol Pearson | Featured Contributor

What sort of expectations do you have of your team?

Are you confident your team will perform well, meet your expectations and deliver organizational goals? Or are you suspicious that they may not perform to the level required.

Many factors contribute to a person’s or team’s success including their skills and capabilities, resources and their personal motivation.  However, your role as CEO or team leader is critical and the expectations you hold of your team members can powerfully influence their behavior.

The Pygmalion Effect

You’ve probably heard of the ‘Pygmalion Effect’. It’s the idea that most people will adapt their behavior to meet an expectation.  Positive expectations influence performance positively, and negative expectations influence performance negatively.

Through the Pygmalion effect, people internalize their positive labels, which then creates the motivation and confidence to succeed. Successful Managers understand this subtle influence and know how to harness it to produce high performance.

Tips to create high performance:

  • Communicate high expectations
  • Deliver positive messages of confidence and support
  • Always talking positively about your team
  • Providing adequate resources, training and time
  • Celebrate successes and recognize achievements
  • View failure as a learning opportunity
  • Give constructive feedback privately

The opposite is having low expectations of your team, failing to empower and trust them and not recognizing successes or investing in them.  This creates a downward spiral in motivation and performance.

If your team isn’t performing to the level you want, consider if it might be because you haven’t created an expectation and environment for high performance or if there are other issues impacting performance that need to be addressed.

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