"The cognitive mechanism in the self-fulfilling prophecy is explained by this: we see the world through our own prejudices, filtering the information that comes to us in such a way to strengthen our own expectations. We learn these cognitive structures by heart, resulting in the fact that we will explain what is going on around us through this kind of crippled thinking. By this, our expectations create the social reality and, even when the expectations are not authentic, they end up becoming true.
The wrong definition of a situation can be involuntary, by lack of contextual information, or deliberate,generating a social manipulation, obtaining certain benefits.
The wrong image about a person will lead to the self-fulfilling prophecy and at a behavioral confirmation. Thus, if we imagine about “the other” that he is open, friendly, social, we will be kind to him every time we meet him. The response of our friend will be usually convergent with our own expectations: he will try to play the role we created, even if, in his own way, he is more inclined towards introversion. Then we will naturally conclude: “He’s exactly how I expected him to be!” Of course, we can imagine this scene in its negative version, in which we qualify “the other” as “cold, distant, arrogant”, fact that will make him respond to our aggressive attitude aggressively, even if he is usually a meek and generous person, fulfilling again the “prophecy”..."
With the collaborative economy pushing businesses into the next phase of social business, executives must learn how to motivate, encourage and lead employees [and customers too] in a way that adds value to everyone involved in the collaborative work environment. Employees and customers are collaborating on products, services and content more than ever before. In preparation for the collaborative economy, consider what role do executives play in fostering a collaborative environment when employees and customers can receive what they need from each other?
When Harvard Business School Associate Professor Francesca Gino invites high-powered business leaders to address her class, she often observes an interesting phenomenon. The guest speakers announce that they are just as interested in learning from the students as teaching them, and encourage them to ask questions and make comments. In reality, however, the speakers often do the opposite—dominating the time and not allowing for much discussion at all.
"As professors we do this too," admits Gino. "It's very difficult when think you have the right answer not to put it out there." At the same time, she has observed, by hogging the discussion, these leaders not only limited their own learning but also made the class less productive as a whole.
Gino wondered if the same dynamic could be occurring in business, with dominating leaders stifling creative ideas that might otherwise emerge from group discussions and making the teams less productive.