What Are You Looking For?

“You get what you expect. If your expectation is great then you’ll receive of its greatness but if you are expecting something small you’ll receive of its smallness. It’s not about how much you’ll receive but how big or small is your vessel.” – Unknown

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How do you see the people you’re working with?

You’ll see in them whatever you’re looking for. If you’re expecting them to do something wrong, you’ll find it. If you’re expecting something good, you’ll find it. There’s even a name for it – the Pygmalion effect. The more positive expectations you put on people, the higher they perform.

The Rosenthal–Jacobson study divided school children into equal groups, and then told the teacher who the high achievers were. Of course,the children that were expected to do better, actually did better.

On the other side is the Golem effect. If you have low expectations you’ll find what you’re looking for. The effect is named after the golem, a clay creature  in Jewish mythology.  The effect was named after the golem legend because it represents  the concerns of social scientists and educators, which are focused on the negative effects of self-fulfilling prophecies.

That’s right, it’s named for a monster. It’s been in several movies, too. Never has it been the kind of creature you’d want to have a beer with.  That’s what you’ll get with low expectations and an attitude of looking for something wrong – a monster.

I’m familiar with this one.  I see people who expect another to say or do something wrong, and they always manage to find it.  The idea of expecting the best of people is mostly reserved for “how people see me.”

Whether it’s positive growth or negative wrong-doings, you’ll get what you’re looking for.  So who do you want walking your halls, a Pygmalion or a monster?

Or better yet, are you that monster?

Alan Mason

About Alan Mason

Alan is an active contributor to the industry, featured speaker at conventions, published in trade magazines and publishes Mason's Morning Minute.

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