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James Donnelly

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Manager expectations define employee performance

Expect more and gain more

There was a study carried out by psychologists at Minnesota University in 1977 that demonstrated how other people’s expectations of us influence how we behave. It is as if we sub-consciously pick up how others view us and start to behave accordingly.

Those of you familiar with the Iceberg Theory from the Governing Change management training program will recognize the first law of the iceberg; “We always influence and there is always a reaction (either conscious or sub-conscious)”. From a management perspective the study supports the fact that our expectations of our employees influence their performance. If we see them as high performing they will be. If we view them as ordinary, they will be. I am a firm believer in ‘People are only as good as they are allowed to be.’ When employees are marked as a 3 out of 5 (which is most of them) in their annual appraisal what is the subtle damage to morale and self-esteem? How challenging are people’s goals? What do managers delegate as a result of low expectations?

It is important to expect the best and provide the right resources and encouragement. Change your expectations and change performance.

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James Donnelly is Managing Director of Mitchell Phoenix USA based in New York. Mitchell Phoenix also has offices in London, UK. He brings over 20 years of experience of working with CEOs and companies around the world across the spectrum of industry. He specializes in Corporate Culture; Leadership Development; Communication; Change Management and Strategic Thinking. He is an expert in leading change from the top down delivering measurable results and lasting insight.

Donnelly’s passion for leadership development and change management was ignited through his early career experiences. His background is predominantly in sales and marketing. He began his career with IBM before joining the Royal Air Force, gaining the rank of Flight Lieutenant. He then ran sales teams at AT&T. These three vastly different cultures sparked a lifelong interest into what made companies great.

Donnelly has delivered over 10,000 hours of seminars, speeches and presentations to large and small audiences from the boardroom to the frontline. He is credited with making fundamental differences to people’s corporate lives. He is one of the principal architects of Mitchell Phoenix’s programs, principles and philosophy.