Employee Motivation, the Organizational Environment and Productivity

Self-fulfilling prophecy or pygmalion effect at work

Better Management by Perception

Corollary 3

  • We tend to be comfortable with people who meet our expectations, whether they're high or low;
  • We tend not to be comfortable with people who don't meet our expectations, whether they are high or low.

As for our expectations of what will happen or how someone will behave, we form them in a thousand ways, many preconceived. We all are prejudiced in the literal sense of the word; we 'prejudge' either positively or negatively.

We like to think we know what's going to happen before it happens, and we don't like to be proven wrong. We want to feel that we can control things.

The impulse has given rise to religion, which says we can influence the gods with prayer, magic, which says we can manipulate events with secret powers; and science, which says we can understand the logic behind events and use it to predict similar events.

Corollary 4

  • Forming expectations is natural and unavoidable

The simple truth is that almost all of us behave pretty much according to the way we're treated.

If you keep telling a teenager, for example, that he's worthless, has no sense of right or wrong and isn't going to amount to anything, he'll probably respond accordingly.

If you keep telling him (sincerely) that he's important to you that you have every confidence in his judgment as to what?s right or wrong and that you're sure he's going to be successful in whatever he decides to do, he'll also tend to respond accordingly.

You transmit those expectations to him and he'll begin to reflect the image you've created for him.

Next | Corollaries 5 & 6