Thursday, April 28, 2011

Leader Beliefs About Followers Impact Company Success

What do the leaders in your firm believe about their employees? It turns out that what they believe about their employees matters a great deal, because it becomes self-fulfilling. According to psychologists Thomas Sy:

"if managers view followers positively -- that they are good citizens, industrious, enthusiastic -- they will treat their employees positively. If they think of their employees negatively -- that they are conforming, insubordinate and incompetent -- they will treat them that way"
And it turns out that what you believe about your employees becomes self-fulfilling. If you believe your employees to be good, they will be, while if you believe them to be bad, well, they will be. Not right away, of course, but over time. In the former case, the employees want to live up to what is believed of them; in the latter case, the employees begin to think, well, if there's nothing I can do to please them, why bother? They increasingly become what you believe them to be.

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