3 Steps to Use the Pygmalion Effect for Performance
Employee productivity depends on effective performance management. The best managers use a combination of strategies to draw upon the full potential of their team and get consistent top-performing results. How do they do this? One powerful tool great leaders use to optimize performance is motivation. The Pygmalion effect explains how and why setting high expectations for employees yields excellent results. Here’s how to use the Pygmalion effect to optimize performance among your employees in 3 steps.
What is the Pygmalion effect?
The principle is simple. People tend to perform to our expectations, like a self-fulfilling prophecy. When we have high expectations, they perform better. When we have low expectations of people, they often perform below their capability.
1. Define Your Expectations
Take a moment and think about each member of your team. Think about each person and your performance expectations. Do you think this person is capable of learning new tasks easily? Can they complete more than the tasks they’re given now? Do you have low or high expectations for this person? How well do you think they’re aware of your expectations?
As you evaluate your expectations, also consider whether they’re realistic. Having high expectations of your employees only works when those expectations are achievable. If you set your expectations too high, the team may give up before they’ve even had a chance of success because they feel the target is impossible to reach.
In summary, when you set expectations, think positively, but don’t depend on the power of positive thinking.
2. Boost Communication and Positive Feedback
How do you communicate your expectations to your team? In life and work, communication determines so many outcomes. Remember that communication isn’t only the words you say. Sometimes, what’s unsaid speaks much more loudly. For example, when a manager is distant and uncommunicative, their team often assumes they are uninterested and have low expectations of their team.
The fix is simple. When you see your team doing a good job, notice it and tell them. Don’t assume your appreciation is apparent. Make sure you’ve communicated it to your team.
3. Lead with Self-Confidence and Develop Yourself
One of the critical factors that determines how successful employees are is the confidence level of their management. Do you believe you can coach and support your team? Do you believe in your abilities as their leader to achieve high performance? Are you using your full potential and investing in your own development?
If not, what’s holding you back? Identify the barriers and find ways to remove them. Do you need more support from a coach or mentor? Ask for the help you need. It might be as simple as that. Are you lacking in a particular area of expertise? Find a way to get the training that will help you round out your leadership abilities and boost your confidence in yourself.
Get the Best from Your Employees
Are you getting the most from your team? Learn key management strategies to boost your team’s productivity with tailored approaches for every individual’s skill and motivation level. Contact us today to set up a training session on Optimizing Performance or for information on our coaching services.