The Pygmalion EffectThe Pygmalion Effect, which is also called “the self-fulfilling prophecy”, is a phenomenon, which was discovered by Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson. After a number of practical researches and studies, these specialists put forward a new theory about the influence of personal expectations from people on their performance.

In other words, if a person or a group of people are aware about high expectations from them, they will demonstrate much better performance and achieve better results. According to this theory, managers can considerably improve the outcomes and effectiveness of their employees by believing in them and expecting their success. This effect works in any environment and any conditions.

The most illustrative experiments were made with children. An IQ test was offered to the students, but randomly chosen children were reported to their teachers as winners. After being treated as bright and talented students, those “fake winners” considerably improved their results in the second test. But those children, who were real winners of the first test, but were not stimulated by the teachers, did not exhibit any improvements.

The name of this interesting phenomenon takes origin from a character of Ovid’s story, Pygmalion, who was a Prince of Cyprus. He constructed a statue with beautiful appearance, fell in love with it and asked Gods to bring it to life. Famous play-writer Bernard Show borrowed this story for his play, Pygmalion, which became popular as the musical My Fairy Lady and helped Rosenthal and Jacobson to find a name for their new finding.

Pygmalion effect is an important instrument in management theory. It makes managers be aware, that the success of their employees depends not only on qualification, personal qualities or working environment. Manager always has to believe in his people and expect them to achieve the best results. In such case the subordinates will always feel this trust and demonstrate their best skills and abilities in their work.