The Pygmalion Effect at the Workplace
It's not a problem of whether in fact the pupils are bright or tardy. The essential thing in this phenomenon is that the trust of the teacher in the students' potential will at the end produce students that really have potential. This unique phenomenon in man, indicating that the expectation given to another person will become a reality, is known as the "Pygmalion Effect".
Up to now the name of Pygmalion is recalled to depict a way of thinking which is positive. If we think positively concerning someone or situation, often the result will really become positive. But, from various further researches which related to the Pygmalion Effect, the fact is also found that if we think the opposite way (negatively) a negative chain of consequences will arise so that the impact will tend to be negative.
Does this effect also take place at the workplace? The research of D Brian McNatt found that this human phenomenon also applies in all areas including for workers at their workplaces. It was concluded that the expectation given, be it to subordinates, fellow workers or superior is something which can create bad or good reality depending on that expectation. In other words, someone's performance tends to go up or go down, for one thing, depending on the expectation received.
Following is an example from some research reports concerning the Pygmalion Effect: A research with 2.874 respondents from different job areas involving Supervisors and Workers. All work areas were divided into two groups. The Supervisor of both groups was told positive information concerning group one while regarding group two he (the same Supervisor) was not given information about anything though in fact both groups have the same quality. The research result in general indicated that the first group has better performance than the second group.
It was further found that the Pygmalion Effect does not only apply to just positive effect, but also for negative expectation. It is even estimated that your negative expectation toward others or the environment around has stronger effect than positive expectation, meaning that the possibility of negative expectation becoming a fact is bigger than positive expectation. In daily working life often we find examples as the following: If a subordinate assumes his superior less brotherly, the superior will really be unfriendly, or on the contrary; if we assume that the staff do not work well, he or she finally will never succeed in our eyes.