How expectations are super fruitful or toxically dangerous for your performance
Reading self-development books and listening to podcasts are just influential elements of developing yourself as a person. Besides these activities, your environment is of great importance on your performance. Like motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said: “You are the average of the five people you spend most time with”. Therefore you should be aware of your environment, but also be aware whether you are a positive environment for other to be around with. Here, are some of the effects in your environment and how to deal with them in order to improve your performance and that of those around you.
Create your own Galatea effect
Ever had people saying that you couldn’t do something, but still you believed you could and actually did it? That is called the Galatea effect. It is the effect of self-expectations and the interactions with other people’s expectations of your own performance.
Researchers have found evidence that self-expectation, especially of the positive kind, results into higher motivation and therefore performance. Be aware of the fact that this effect is temporary. A way to deal with this and keep enjoying the Galatea effect benefits is to take a break after a big accomplishment and not wear yourself out. After the appropriate break time, depending on how big the achievement, set a new goal with high self-expectations.
Create for others the Pygmalion effect
Back in 1968 was the first time the Pygmalion was brought to attention and described by Rosenthal and Babad as: “When we expect certain behaviour of others, we are likely to act in ways that make the expected behaviour more likely to occur”. Where the Galatea effect is based on positive self-expectation, the Pygmalion effect is based on positive expectations by others and the increasing effect on your performance. Now this is a very interesting tool for those career lions in management positions. Apparently communicating challenging and positive expectations to your team is the trick to get them to perform better than they would when these expectations have not explicitly been spoken out. Just think about it, through how many more loops have you jumped, simply because someone said you could do it and you did not want to fail?
Avoid the Golem effect
The opposite effect of the Pygmalion effect is the Golem effect. The Golem effect can best be described as: “a psychological phenomenon in which lower expectations placed upon individuals either by supervisors or the individual themselves lead to poorer performance by the individual”.
This is where outside expectations can be toxic for your performance. What can I say about the people doing this? Haters gonna hate seems like the most appropriate statement here. Being a female engineer, these negative expectations from others are definitely present. Try to channel motivation from it and prove them wrong. Do not get carried away with this thought either though. Here’s how I proved a Golem wrong with my “performance”. Seven years ago, when I was at my bachelor study’s introduction camp, one of the few toilets at the facility was locked from the inside. I only remember someone laughing and saying it was unfortunate I had chicken arms and wouldn’t be strong enough to get over the wall, since I was the smallest person around at the time. Next thing I know, I was already up on the wall and didn’t know what to do. Okay, it was a lot higher than I imagined. There I was, stuck sitting on a wall between two toilets. I must have been up there for just a few minutes, but it sure felt like an hour. So what is your plan to avoid the Golem effect without ending up doing a toilet wall climb?