This paper has been elaborated on the expectancy effects, especially the “Change behaviours”. It has shed light on how change in behaviour towards an individual can change his attitudes and way of behaving towards the very person. This topic has been chosen as it is one of the most aligned topics to my PDP output where I am mainly focusing on considering the view-points and opinions of others. Being part of a sales team, my role is to be accountable to achieving specific targeted annual quotas. It becomes very hard when I am not only answerable and responsible for my target but for the full team. As a person, I have been in the field where I have a track record of achievements. This has directed me towards leading the team to follow my path in conducting their activities with their clients. By doing so, it feels like dictating my team about doing the things they feel right. This also has an impact on the team’s autonomy.
The hypothesis of the paper is when giving my team members enough space and motivation for executing their styles and knowledge in order to perform their given task; they will be performing better than before. This will be highly beneficial for the entire team and the company both as the same time.
We have conducted weekly team meeting to go through each individual’s forecast. During our meeting we discuss about the opportunities, targets, challenges and closing date. I help the team in meeting their challenging by motivating them and by giving them examples from my own experience. For this experiment I will be focusing on my low performer employee, I will behave as I always do in the first meeting and note her response and subsequent behaviour during the week.
I have aligned with my peer to attend the first meeting as an observer. The meeting went as usual discussing the deals, challenges and actions on how to move forward. During the meeting the high performer objected some of my advices and we discussed them through out the meeting hours and agreed on the actions. My low performer employee is as usual very quiet in the meeting and took the directions as directed to him.
The rest of the week was normal- discussing about the targets and guiding the employees, and receiving emails or calls (unplanned interactions). Usually, my low performer employee avoids face to face interaction and only updates me through sending mails bout the actions I have been suggested to her.
At the time of our weekly meeting, I asked the team members to share the closing dates and opportunity size and if there are any changes they noticed as compared to the last week. Finally, I stated that, “I believe in your ability and knowledge. I do know that you know your clients better than me. I also believe that you all can overcome all your challenges in your own way towards success. Do remember that there is no better way to learn than learning from your mistakes and feel free to reach out to me whenever you need my support. Wishing you all a very successful week”. The team was a bit concerned at the beginning till I left the meeting room. 10 minutes later, my low performer employee approached my desk to seek my advice. I responded to her by saying that “Nothing can be fixed right now but you should remember that though you did not succeed this time, you will surely do in the next if you learn from your present mistakes and situations. Hence, this is not a complete loss”. I also told her to do it the way she believes is right because I believe that she has the required skills to make a difference.
I noticed in the rest of the week that the team is opening up and I saw greater number of face to face interactions and calls from my employees and less emails than before. For the low performer employee, I started looking for her and asking about how things are moving and at the first couple of interactions she was cautious about sharing what she was doing and I kept telling her “I am here always to guide you. So, never hesitate to approach me for my help”. Within few days she started opening up and she was very happy to share her successes and the lessons she learnt and how she do it differently.
Through changing my behaviour from the first meeting to the second meeting and the interactions in between, my observer peer and I noticed a notable improvement in two areas. Firstly is in the attitude and behaviour of the low performing employee. She became very active and started opening up to many channels to seek support. Secondly, the transparency was increased. I keep receiving updates calls instead of getting updates once in our weekly meeting.
The change in my behaviours and attitudes towards my team members made them realise that I am very confident about their skills and ability. Also, my attitude made them learn that this is a safe environment to make mistakes. Mistakes can be fixed but the thing is to learn from our mistakes. On the other hand, they also wanted to prove to me back that they are accountable and credible. Moreover, when people find that the other person trusts them and their abilities, they become more assertive, conscious and wilfully stand for their promises. This automatically encourages them in improving their performance.
This experiment was quite hard for me, as earlier i used to advice them to follow my path. I never gave them such a big space to prove their skills and ability. Therefore, I was always worried about failure. I used to think that what will happen if we fail in delivering our Sales commitment. So it was difficult for me to give the team more space to do things their way. Anyhow, I managed to try this experiment to change my behaviour, as i considered it to be very important and hence, witness the change in the performance and results. While doing the experiment I felt that my team and I had a better chemistry where the team also started to talk to me about their personal challenges and interests. More importantly, they began to tell me what I wanted to know without me having to ask them.
I have decided to select the expectancy effect to boost the performance of all the team members and to be an effective leader. As I result of the experiment I expect the team to develop in three areas. Firstly, being very open and feel free to seek support. The second is to improve the autonomy of the team and thirdly, to create a sense of motivation among them. All the three areas I believe will personally help me in developing my leadership skills and professionally it will help me in driving greater results to the business.