Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

This example presents how easy it is to influence a result based on an initial belief, without ever realizing the result is being influenced by the belief.

Being that I am responsible for two individuals, Sue and Tina, it may be that I perceive that Sue is more talented and capable than Tina. Realize that I may or my not be consciously aware of this belief. Because of this perceived talent of Sue relative to Tina I tend to provide more support to Sue. This support may be in terms of planning, coaching, etc. This support of Sue enhances the success of Sue, which simply serves to reinforce the perceived talent of Sue relative to Tina. While this perception influences me to provide enhanced levels of support of Sue it influences me to provide less support to Tina. This reduced support to Tina hinders the success of Tina, which simply serves to further enhance the perceived talent of Sue relative to Tina.

This situation results in two reinforcing loops both driving the system in the same direction, the success of Sue relative to the success of Tina. And, isn't it interesting how the situation turned out to prove that my initial perception was in fact true!

Effective Strategies

  1. Get a grip on reality and pay attention to what you're doing.

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Copyright © 2004 Gene Bellinger