A self-fulfilling prophecy happens when the expectations for certain behaviour influence a person to meet the expectations for that behaviour!


How Other Peoples’ Expectations Affect Us!

  • 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.
Our organizational life is full of low expectations.


Leaders assign work but seldom do they discuss their work expectations with employees.


Job descriptions are left to grow stale and outdated and little effort is made to maintain current agreements with employees as to just what is expected.


Leaders often create under-utilization of their people and then complain about low productivity!


Coaches Create Positive 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.


And the Beat Goes On … And On ….!

  • By expressing positive expectations and working to develop a more skilled, knowledgeable and motivated employee the coach has created better performance.
  • 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!

Develop a Coaching Philosophy


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.
  • 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!