We all want more from our managers and teams – creativity, resourcefulness, resilience and of course more productivity… the list goes on.

Whilst there is no magic formula for achieving peak performance, managers can make a difference by using ‘invisible’ influences – invisible because they are more about attitudes, behaviors and mindsets.

No matter what qualifications, experience and expertise people have, if they don’t feel good when at work, they won’t perform at their best.

The Pygmalion effect

If a manager’s message to their team is that they are capable of success and expected to succeed, the team will likely excel. Their self-confidence will grow, their capabilities will develop and their productivity will increase.

Conversely, if their manners, approach and behaviour towards staff are negative and critical, it will undermine confidence and have a detrimental effect on performance. This is known as the Pygmalion effect.

It’s worth noting too that if a manager treats individual team members differently, this can also create unrest and resentment in those that are given less positive encouragement and feedback than their peers.

Think of it as if holding up a mirror – team members will often reflect the attitudes and manners of their managers in their own behaviours. Managers that consciously or unconsciously give little or no encouragement or support will damage morale, engender a poor attitude to work and risk suffering a negative impact on the bottom line.

The Galatea effect

Arguably more powerful than the Pygmalion effect, the Galatea effect is more of a self-fulfilling prophecy. An individual’s opinion and expectations of their own ability largely influences the quality of their performance. Put simply, if a team member thinks they can succeed, they will likely succeed, if they don’t they will struggle.

Influencing performance

When managers are aware of the Pygmalion and the Galatea effect, they’ll know that a positive approach can help others believe in themselves and their abilities. By boosting confidence they’ll be encouraging individuals to take on more responsibility, overcome challenges and cope better with change.

We shouldn’t underestimate how transformational this subtle shift in management style can be. It’s human nature to respond to ‘positive strokes’. Positivity leads to performance improvements at an individual level, which in turn feeds through to the team, and ultimately the organisation, enhancing productivity and improving results.

Progress in this field has a habit of producing an ever-growing bed of higher achievers. With positive reinforcements along the way people will thrive and go on thriving.

We think it’s worth investing a little time and effort in developing a positive management style and culture. What do you think?

Our bespoke leadership management training programmes focus on this area, exploring use of language, attitude and behaviour, feedback processes and developmental initiatives and how they impact others.

If you would like to find out more about our training, including examples of work we have done in this area before, and its results, please contact us for a no obligation chat, we’d be pleased to talk with you further about it.

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