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“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life that you imagined.”– Henry David Thoreau
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The Galatea Effect Means High Expectations, High Performance
Believe in and invest in your staff. Give them the quality training and mentoring programs they need to succeed. Your return on investment will be that you attract, retain and grow "ACEs" -- people who are Aligned, Capable and Engaged. At The Galatea Effect we are committed to helping you put all the pieces together.
The Galatea effect is, in its simplest terms, a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Remember when you were a child? You were fearless, right? You were like the railroad engine in Watty Piper's childhood book "The Little Engine that Could". With others rooting for you, you chanted "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can". You wanted and believed, therefore you tried and achieved.
- I believe I can do it, therefore I succeed.
One of life's greatest gifts you can give someone is to believe in them. Think about someone who believes in you? Don't you work harder to live up to those expectations? Sure you do. It's human nature.
- Others have faith in my abilities, therefore I will work even harder to prove worthy.
A critical component to retaining quality staff and achieving high performance can be summed up in one word: expectations. Learn to
- set expectations
- discuss and agree upon mutual expectations
- communicate those expectations in a "common language"
- assess performance and/or the relationship based on those expectations
- periodically revisit the expectations, and go through these same steps again
The Galatea effect says that people
- form expectations of themselves and others
- communicate these expectations through verbal and non-verbal cues
- behave and adjust their behavior based on how they are treated
- gravitate towards people who meet their expectations (high or low)
Science Supports the Galatea Effect
The Galatea concept was first introduced in 1957 by Robert Merton, a professor of sociology at Columbia University. Through his research Merton found that once an expectation is set we tend to act in ways that are consistent with that expectations, regardless of whether it is accurate or not.
In a 1968 study, researcher Dr. Robert Rosenthal and an elementary school principal met with teachers and shared a list of students who had scored exceptionally high on their IQ test. With this "knowledge" the teachers' expectations of the students were set higher. After eight months, this list of "smarter" students had, in fact, scored higher than the other students.
In another study, a Big Five accounting firm hired a consultant to improve staff's confidence and performance. The consultant met with a select group of staff, and told them that they were the company's top performers, and that they had the full confidence of the partners. These employees were also given special monthly communication from their managers congratulating them on a job well done and reaffirming expectations. After three months, these employees had high self-confidence. More than half of them were now outperforming the rest of the team.
The Galatea Effect Stars on the Big Screen
We believe and behave as others treat us. In the musical "My Fair Lady" Professor Higgins makes a bet with his friend Pickering that he can take a peasant flower girl and turn her into a society lady. The flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, trains earnestly, and only seems to slip up when Professor Higgins challenges her.
“You see, really and truly, apart from the things anyone can pick up (the dressing and the proper way of speaking and so on), the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she’s treated. I shall always be a flower girl to Professor Higgins because he always treats as a flower girl, and always will. But I know I can be a lady to you because you always treat me as a lady, and always will.” -- Eliza speaking to Pickering
Let The Galatea Effect help you develop more individuals like Pickering who believe in the potential of a person and the power of expectations. Contact us today for an initial complimentary consultation.