Blog Post 3-1-12

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Performance Management

When I was growing up my mother used to tell me to think positive. Her belief was that you only get back that which you put forth. I believe the same is true when working with employees and dealing with performance management.

Typically, when you hire new workers you think of all the positive things they can bring to the organization, all the good that will come with hiring them, and not, “I guess this warm body will do.” If you’re thinking the latter, you have bigger issues you will need to deal with. However, if you have great hope for all those who join your team, you’re starting on the right foot.

Unfortunately, where many managers go astray is in how they build their team. Too many don’t understand or are not trained to offer the support and guidance required to lead. Often they belittle and criticize their workers when they don’t perform up to expectations. The result: a self-fulfilling prophecy.

According to Wikipedia, self-fulfilling prophecy is defined as “a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior.”

Therefore, how you lead your team – with positive or negative feedback – has a direct correlation to how they will perform. Tell them they aren’t any good or are constantly making mistakes, and you are likely to see individuals who fail. On the other hand, praise and support their growth and efforts, and your team will more likely rise to the level you set for them.

That means you have two options. You can build your team up or tear it down.

If you’re ready, we can help you build your team up. If you want to learn to lead more effectively, communicate more powerfully, and inspire others, we have tools to help you. Performance management means providing proper performance feedback. Let us show you how you can be a more effective leader. Contact us.