A self-fulfilling prophecy happens when the expectations for certain behaviour influence a person to meet the expectations for that behaviour!
- In earlier posts we discussed how our own thinking influences our feelings and our subsequent behaviour.
- I want to deal now with how the expectations of others can affect our behaviour.
- Research has shown the expectations one person holds for another person’s behaviour can influence that behaviour.
- This has been shown in many different settings.
- Unfortunately, in organizations, people often experience negative self-fulfilling prophecies.
- By working with employees to establish work goals and expectations, there is agreement.
- Further, if the coach expresses enthusiasm for the work and her/his confidence in the employee’s ability to meet expectations, the employee will begin to motivate her/himself to meet these expectations.
- There are several reasons for this.
If a coach is enthusiastic about conveying positive expectations, the coach’s behaviour towards the employee changes.
Employees receive more feedback and support and more challenging work goals are set.
Also, better developmental opportunities will be idenfitied and provided and more opportunities are created to allow the employee to practice vital skills.
Employees develop better skills and more knowledge and their attitude changes.
They begin to have confidence they can do the job and the organization (primarily through the coach) will support them.
- By expressing positive expectations and working to develop a more skilled, knowledgeable and motivated employee the coach has created better performance.
- If this improved performance is appraised and reinforced, the cycle will repeat itself (see my previous post about Opportunies Created by the “Awful Appraisal”).
- Coaches have the power to create these positive mental models of performance and the opportunity should never be wasted.
Create positive self-fulfilling prophecies at every opportunity!
One last thought…
- Take advantage of the opportunity to capture the organization’s coaching philosophy on paper.
- A policy should express the organization’s approach to coaching and its’ views on employee development.
- Communicate this policy to each employee and use it in the Socialization of New Employees.
- Reward good coaches and work with others to improve their coaching skills.
Never miss an opportunity to coach.
The more coaching is practiced at each and every organizational level, the more a Coaching approach is reinforced!