December 1, 2010
There is a famous bit of research which put belief about a person’s competence to the test. In this test one group of teachers were told that they would be teaching top performing students, the other group were told they would be teaching those who were below par.
What the teachers did not know was that the groups were switched. The result was that the students who were considered low performers actually did better than those who were formerly high performing. So how did this happen?
Beliefs filter our perception and therefore drive our behaviours. If we believe someone has a certain identity then we treat that person accordingly. With the belief that they could, the students did well. With a belief they couldn’t they performed poorly.
So how does this relate to Leading & Developing High Performance? If we are to produce and develop high performance we have to believe that all our charges are potentially brilliant. That can be a hard pill to swallow for some.
Especially for the mindset of high challenge and high support, it is vital to understand our beliefs about human potential. This is why we use a diagnostic questionnaire to indicate whether you have a tendency to operate with more challenge or more support and how well you combine them.
The high challenge/high support approach needs both challenge and support in powerful and equal combination. It also determines if you are consistently ‘mixing it up’ because if you operate from high challenge and then swap to high support (or vice versa) that can confuse the people you lead and be seen as inconsistent.
The result shows where you are starting from and determines how you need to re-align your thinking so that it concentrates on the combined use of high support and high challenge. Most people find this powerful and equal use of the Leading & Developing High Performance mindset reassuring, as it fits well with their own intuitive feeling of what is required.
Developing this mindset will revolutionalise your management and leadership capabilities and develop useful beliefs that will not constrain you or your people’s development.
How do your beliefs affect the team you lead?