A Team Leader’s belief in their Team Members is a powerful force and significantly impacts a Team Member’s performance through two psychological concepts: the Pygmalion effect and the Golem effect.

Positive Belief Increases Performance: The Pygmalion effect describes how a Team Leader’s high expectations leads to increased Team Members’ performance. This is because when a Team Leader expresses confidence in a Team Member’s abilities, it ignites the following positive chain reaction:

A Team Leader can utilize the Pygmalion effect by:

The Danger of Low Expectations: The opposite of the Pygmalion effect is the Golem effect. This occurs when a Team Leader’s unconsciously negative expectations lead to a decline in Team Member performance by:

Team Leaders can avoid the Golem effect by:

Do Either Effect Work?: The research on The Pygmalion and The Golem effects is not conclusive as to the measurable impact either one has on Team Member performance.

It should come as no surprise the research shows the impact of The Pygmalion effect increases

While the impact of The Golem effect increases

However, since, according to Gallup, 70% of a Team Member’s level of engagement is dictated by the Team Member’s direct supervisor/manager, understanding the Pygmalion and Golem effects helps to assign accountability when measuring employee engagement and performance.

My Opinion: When Team Leaders believe in their Team, Team Members will believe in themselves, and that’s a key to achieving success together.

I could be wrong… But I’m not.