Wednesday, 2 April 2008

You Get What You Expect

So on my first day back at work I was whisked away to a one day conference... it wasn't Bill Hybels but Paul De Jong. I had a throughly great time!

I have just come back from a leaders life group. Out of everything we do... this is my favorite time... just getting to hang out and connect with our great leaders.

In our youth department staff meeting I really challenged our team about the power of our expectations. I love this quote that I got to share with them:
Both he who expects great things of others and he who expects little, will receive what he expects.
A test on the power of our expectations was done using 2 sets of 36 rats and 36 students.
The first group of students were handed a rat and a maze. They were told that the rats were 'super-maze' rats. They were told that not only were these rats the very best, but that their parents had been champion maze rats. The students were then given the challenge to train the rats for 30 days to see how fast the rats could get the maze.

The second group of students were also given a rat and a maze each. However, they were told that their rats were 'maze-dumb'. They had always been useless and so were their parents. Although the researchers weren't expecting much the students were to train their rats and see what times they could come up with.

Now the 72 rats were all chosen randomly, and the information that the students were given about the rats was all fictional.
Can you guess after the 30 days what the performance difference was between the 2 sets of rats?

It couldn't really be all that great right... I mean, its not like the students could tell the rats that they were smart or dumb.
Well the result might astound you... the difference in performance was 200%!

The expectations that we hold... are so powerful! Are our expectations lifting people... or dragging them down?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

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