Are you a leader using the Pygmalion effect? - Business Works
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Are you a leader using the Pygmalion effect?

Adi Gaskell, Management Writer The Pygmalion Effect is a widely observed phenomenon whereby a leaders high expectations for their team translates into higher achievement. It becomes almost a self-fulfilling prophesy, as the leader shows what his team could become and with this new goal in mind the team then strives to reach it.

Key to achieving this is keeping the goal well within site. Its whats known as the maintenance of hope.

So far so good. New research investigates the importance of trust is to this process actually working.

Trust lies at the heart of the Pygmalion Effect. It essentially asks employees to abandon their comfortable current existence in favour of a more uncertain future that is currently beyond them.

Central to this is that your employees need to believe that you can deliver on your promised future. This is a relatively simple judgement of their talents as a leader. Are you skilled enough to take them from one state to another. If your employee believes you have this ability then your influence is manifest.

Equally important to trust is your perceived integrity. Your team might believe you to be very skilled, but if they dont believe what you say, it will be very hard for them to trust in your vision for them.

The final factor is an emotional one. Employees need to believe in your inherent benevolence. They need to believe that you care for their wellbeing and will go out of your way to help and support them.

If you can provide your team with all of these things then you form one side of a powerful social contract that employees will feel duty bound to reciprocate in the form of renewed effort.

Adi Gaskell is a management writer

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