Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Do others respond to our expectations?
Last week we talked about incentives.
Some motivate. Some don’t.
Today we’ll discuss other ways to motivate our teams.
Research finds a pecking order can raise productivity.
In one experiment, nearly 140 people were surveyed.
Some were asked to think of a time they held power.
They were told tests ranked them as high achievers.
Others were told to think of a time they were abused.
They were then told the test ranked them low.
The high-power teams out-performed the other one.
A similar experiment with teachers under scores this.
One group was told their students were exceptional.
The other group was told theirs were slow learners.
The children were all average performers.
But at year end, the “exceptionals” tested high.
The “show learners” tested much lower.
The researchers’ conclusion:
The students responded to the teachers’ expectations.
As a teenager, I made several bad choices.
I played around in school and failed to study.
My straight As went to straight Ds.
A tough, fiery-haired Miss Sullivan straightened me out.
She had checked records of my past performance.
She told me she expected more than I was doing.
She encouraged and occasionally bullied me.
It was a test of wills . . . and she won.
It worked. My grades and my attitude improved.
I still recall her fondly and how much I owe her.
What can we learn from this?
People rise to our expectations of them.
We also rise to our own expectations of ourselves.
Think of ourselves and our colleagues as winners.
It’s the inner game of winning.
It how leaders consistently win at everything.
For more on leadership, read my new book.
“What It Costs to Be the Boss” can change your life.
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