Home Productivity The Key to High Performance in Business Life: The Pygmalion Effect

The Key to High Performance in Business Life: The Pygmalion Effect

The Pygmalion effect, or self-fulfilling prophecy. The Pygmalion effect, which expresses that our emotions, thoughts, and beliefs shape our reality consciously or unconsciously, is a psychological phenomenon believed to lead to better performance. In his research in 1948, Merton defined the Pygmalion effect as ‘beliefs that become a reality over time. Sociologist Prof. Robert Merton describes this phenomenon as “Misdefining a situation leads to a new behavior that makes wrong right.” he evaluated his determination.

The Pygmalion Effect in Mythology

In Greek mythology, a sculptor named Pygmalion lives in love with the Cypriot profession. Pygmalion, who lives far from people, does not talk to people or care about anything other than his status. He talks with his figures, converses with them, and tells his troubles only to them. His only pleasure in life is his sculptures.

Pygmalion decides to make a perfect sculpture one day. He makes this ivory statue so beautiful and so impressive that Pygmalion falls in love with this statue he made himself, Galatea. She loves him with all her heart, but naturally, the inanimate figure does not respond to Pygmalion. One day Aphrodite sees this situation; He gets unfortunate and gives life to the constitution. Miraculously, the figure turns into a woman of the same beauty, and they marry Pygmalion immediately and live happily ever after.

Pygmalion’s passion for his statue caused the statue to come to life. This story has therefore become a metaphor for emphasizing that expectations have the power to create our reality.

The Relationship Between Expectations and Success

We experience this concept, which appears as a self-fulfilling prophecy, in every aspect of our lives. Therefore, when we understand the Pygmalion effect correctly, we can analyze our environment more accurately. This story is also the basis of George Bernard Shaw’s play ‘Pygmalion’. It aims to raise awareness about understanding what our expectations lead to.

According to the Pygmalion Effect, the reality is subjective and open to manipulation by our environment. The people around us; influence our thought patterns, achievements, and perception of ourselves. All these elements can be shaped according to the expectations of our environment.

It should be noted here that the power of the Pygmalion effect is not unlimited. When we have high expectations from physically or mentally incompetent people, this can stress that person and cause the opposite effect.

In his book, The Art of Winning Friends and Influencing People, Dale Carnegie recommends “Giving others a great dignity in which to live up to it.” Carnegie describes this effect as “If you raise your expectations for others, they will naturally do their best to meet your expectations.” expresses as. In other words, if a person’s expectations from another person, as a result of expressing these expectations through verbal and non-verbal communication, the other person develops by the expectation; this is the Pygmalion Effect.

Pygmalion Effect on Business Life

A manager in business life, “I believe you will contribute a lot to this business.”, “You are the right person to realize this project.”, “Our sales will increase a lot of thanks to you.” The Pygmalion effect is the effect of making a statement in the form of an idea and using body language by this belief on the employee. Thanks to such notification from his manager, the employee raises his potential to higher levels, increases his performance, and realizes what is expected of him.

To realize the Pygmalion effect in business life, managers must first be aware of this effect. A manager aware of this effect consciously increase the employee’s performance and productivity when he applies it to his employees with his words, body language, and genuine belief. If the manager wants to use the human resources he has correctly regarding his employees, Knowing who is good at what job, he should direct them to the right task and should expect in line with the knowledge he has in the study he executes. The critical point is that; Expecting the right job from the right person fulfills the prophecy.

As a result, if we work for a better version of ourselves with a positive outlook and expectations, we can see our expectations come true. Likewise, if we know the potential of our friends, lovers, spouse, children, bosses, and employees and support them in what they can do, we can enable them to realize their true potential.