The Pygmalion effect is a simple theory based on the Power of Expectation. The Pygmalion Effect states that the higher the expectation placed on an individual by his/her supervisors; the better is the individual's performance.

The Pygmalion effect gets its name from the Greek mythology. Pygmalion was a sculptor who fell in love with a statue he had created. It is also often called the Rosenthal Effect, after Robert Rosenthal, the social psychologist who proposed the theory. In the words of Rosenthal himself, "what one person expects of another can come to serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy". In simple words, supervisors can positively influence the performance and success of employees by placing high expectations on them. The fundamental basis of this theory is that if a manager has high expectation of an employee, he/she will communicate this to the employee, which will further motivate the employee to do better.

Even if the supervisor does not communicate his/her expectations verbally, it is believed that individuals can pick up on subconscious thought though reading of nonverbal. Therefore, from the manager's body language, behaviors or comments, the employee will be able to perceive whether he or she is expected to succeed or fail at a task. High expectations can alter the self-perception of individuals, making them more confident of their abilities. It is believed that if managers have high expectations of employees, they will automatically try to motivate and teach employees more providing them with better opportunities. This makes for a healthy work environment and ensures that employees rise to their fullest potential.

Author's Bio: 

Bobby Harris is a driven, experienced and knowledgeable professional within areas such as healthcare, childhood education, abuse intervention and crisis prevention; organizational leadership and intellectual / developmental disabilities.

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