Last week we talked about how our beliefs drive our behaviors. If you want to fundamentally change someone’s behavior, you should work on changing their beliefs first.
One of the best ways to help someone believe something is to believe it yourself first. It’s a scientific fact that what leaders believe about their people has a causal effect on their performance.
In 1968, Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson tested all the children in an elementary class and gave teachers a list of those who were “unusually clever.” In reality, the students on the list were completely average.
At the end of the year the researchers tested the class again. The result? To a child, everyone on the list improved their scores far beyond other children.
This is an example of the Pygmalion effect, which states that the greater the expectation placed upon people (e.g. children, students, employees) the better they perform.
So not only are your beliefs driving your own behavior, but if you’re a leader, your beliefs about others are driving their behavior as well.
How have you been positively or negatively affected by a leader’s beliefs about you? How have you seen your beliefs help or hinder the people you lead?