Pygmalion Effect - Usage in Business and Software

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Table of contents

  1. So what is Pygmalion Effect?
  2. There Are Four Chief Principles to the Pygmalion Effect:
  3. The Pygmalion Effect in the Workplace

The primitive responsibility of management is to establish expectations for employee performance and behavior. This article explains the Pygmalion effect and outlines how it is practiced to affect employee behavior.

So what is Pygmalion Effect?

The notion that the majority of people will adapt their behavior to fulfill an expectation is perceived as the Pygmalion Effect. A more generic term used to define this aspect is termed as the self-fulfilling prophecy.

Either term is used to specify how one would consciously or unconsciously learn of an expectation and function in a way that is uniform with the same. Though, it does not make the expectations come full circle when you only have an expectation and then it happens. Rather, the expectation must be the purpose or basis of why something happens. For instance, you stepped out of your house this morning and guessed that it was going to rain, and towards the evening it did. This is not a consequence of the Pygmalion Effect as it would have rained even if you had not assumed that it would.

So, while your prediction of a rainy day did turn true, it did not happen because you foresaw it to. The expectation itself has to create some shift in the behavior to make the expectation come true.

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There Are Four Chief Principles to the Pygmalion Effect:

  • We develop or determine the expectation.
  • The expectation is imparted as information.
  • Behavior is accustomed to fulfill the expectation.
  • The expectation is fulfilled.

The Pygmalion Effect in the Workplace

Fulfilling the expectations that people set for us is one thing that we do from the very beginning in our lives. Back in school, we work vigorously to acquire new concepts and perform well on exams to suffice the expectations of our parents and teachers.

Similarly, in the workplace, an employee will accommodate his/her conduct and level of performance to suffice the expectations anchored by their company and the manager.

The expectations that the manager confines of his or her employees can intensely impact the employees' behavior. Managers need to recognize this impact and how to tie it to work towards the company goals.

The most basic way a manager can set an expectation and communicate it to an employee is with the help of performance reviews. The performance review works as an assessment of an employee's performance record, the level of raise that he or she will be awarded, and the scope of improvement. What most of the managers miss out on realizing is that a performance appraisal is additionally a compelling tool that can be employed to determine the future performances of employees.

If an employee receives constant appreciation from his manager, they are most likely to feel accelerated and will strive to accomplish an even greater performance. On the other hand, if they are continuously sought and their work is ruthlessly analyzed, they will reasonably fall into demotivation and the quality of their work will depreciate. For either good and bad, the treatment they endure will end up concluding the outcome of their work.

Everybody has preconceptions, and so do the bosses of a company. All managers hold a picture constructed about every single member of their team, and they customarily treat them accordingly. It might have very little to do with reality, although it might end up maturing to a fact.

If you are the boss, give it a thought. Presumably, the negative impression that you possess of some of your agents doesn’t resemble reality. Do you truly fancy them to end up acting like your preconceptions are making you see them? That won’t do any good for you or for your business.

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