Did you know that what you hold in your mind as the possible outcomes for your team, your direct report, your client, your patient, your children, your students… Directly impacts the #results?
The effect was originally named for the Greek myth of Pygmalion, the sculptor who fell so much in love with the perfectly beautiful statue he created that the statue came to life.
In a study published in 1968, Rosenthal & Jacobson held that high expectations lead to better performance and low expectations lead to worse, both effects leading to self-fulfilling prophecy.
In this study, done in a school system, they told the teacher that the kids assigned to their class these kids are the least smart in the school and they struggle to keep up. The teacher did the best she could and they all got C’s and D’s.
The next semester, the same group of kids were put them in another class with another teacher whom they told, these kids are brilliant. You’re going to struggle to keep up with them. So, you’ll just have to do the best you can. The second semester the same kids got all A’s and B’s.
Based on what the teacher was told about the kids, the kids performed at that level.
According to the Pygmalion effect, the targets of the expectations internalize their positive labels, and those with positive labels succeed accordingly; a similar process works in the opposite direction in the case of low expectations.
The idea behind the Pygmalion effect is that increasing the #leader‘s expectation of the follower’s performance will result in better follower performance.