Did you hear the one about the Teacher?

I encourage you to listen as you read; because your role is heavily one of a Teacher. You share a lot of things in common. For example, you spend a lot of time working and teaching your direct reports. You direct and guide just like the teacher. What a Teacher tolerates is a reflection of the Teacher’s Standards.



And, here is where I have you thinking forward and backward. That’s right, recognizing faulty logic as well as recognizing some positive “learning”.


Once upon a time, a teacher began the school year by randomly dividing the new class of students. With one group there was always praise and encouragement in directions given and feedback on homework submitted. The other group however, got discouraging considerations; all verbal interactions devalued and diminished any confidence that might have grown in this group. “Here’s your homework assignment. Do the best you can. I know it’s probably over your heads. Just try.” The other group was praised and encouraged in everything they were given. Both groups were given an exercise where they were to set their own goals. The one group that was routinely praised set high goals for themselves and met “many to most” of them; including the unrealistically high goals. The other group however set goals that were either so low that meeting them was almost inconsequential or so unrealistically high that achievement was never a practical consideration. (This story was based on a real research activity, by the way.)


The analysis of the initiative reinforced data and findings from both prior observations and it also put a spotlight on how important and significant of an impact that Managers, oops Teachers, have on their students. One critical takeaway from this study was the idea of “Self-fulfilling prophecies” in the workplace.


Managers and Teachers of any kind have the power to create self-fulfilling prophecies as they work with their “direct reports”. If you have high-performance expectations of people, by in large they will meet them. Extending praise, engaging and interacting with respect, etc. acting as evidence of respect and value. Likewise, if you have low expectations, if comments and actions tend to always be skeptical, vocally voicing your low expectations in advance, they will typically meet them. You play a critical role in creating self-fulfilling prophecies.


Which expectations do you want met?

I encourage you to listen as you read; because your role is heavily one of a Teacher. You share a lot of things in common. For example, you spend a lot of time working and teaching your direct reports. You direct and guide just like the teacher. What a Teacher tolerates is a reflection of the Teacher’s Standards.


And, here is where I have you thinking forward and backward. That’s right, recognizing faulty logic as well as recognizing some positive “learning”.


Once upon a time, a teacher began the school year by randomly dividing the new class of students. With one group there was always praise and encouragement in directions given and feedback on homework submitted. The other group however, got discouraging considerations; all verbal interactions devalued and diminished any confidence that might have grown in this group. “Here’s your homework assignment. Do the best you can. I know it’s probably over your heads. Just try.” The other group was praised and encouraged in everything they were given. Both groups were given an exercise where they were to set their own goals. The one group that was routinely praised set high goals for themselves and met “many to most” of them; including the unrealistically high goals. The other group however set goals that were either so low that meeting them was almost inconsequential or so unrealistically high that achievement was never a practical consideration. (This story was based on real research activity, by the way.)


The analysis of the initiative reinforced data and findings from both prior observations and it also put a spotlight on how important and significant of an impact that Managers, oops Teachers, have on their students. One critical takeaway from this study was the idea of “Self-fulfilling prophecies” in the workplace.


Managers and Teachers of any kind have the power to create self-fulfilling prophecies as they work with their “direct reports”. If you have high-performance


expectations of people, by in large they will meet them. Extending praise, engaging and interacting with respect, etc. acting as evidence of respect and value. Likewise, if you have low expectations, if comments and actions tend to always be skeptical, vocally voicing your low expectations in advance, they will typically meet them. You play a critical role in creating self-fulfilling prophecies.


Which expectations do you want met?

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