325 - The Context of High Expectations

Episode: 325

Episode Title: The Context of High Expectations


If you want young people to raise the level of their performance, raise your expectations. But there’s a context for doing that. Find out what it is, next on The Perna Syndicate.


Ep 325 show:

Hello and welcome! This is the Perna Syndicate. It’s a general rule that people tend to perform according to the expectations that are placed on them. If you have low expectations of someone, they have little incentive to perform above and beyond (except maybe to prove you wrong). But if you have high expectations, chances are they’ll be motivated to live up to the elevated view you take of their abilities and effort. 


It sounds so easy: to get young people to raise their level of performance, just raise your expectations. Demand more and they’ll deliver. Well, it’s not quite so simple. 


You see, raising expectations has to happen in the context of a meaningful relationship. If the person in question doesn’t have much rapport with or respect for you, they won’t care all that much what you expect. Or worse, they’ll become frustrated and disappointed by trying to meet your standards—without your support.


The context of meaningful relationship is a place to safely raise expectations, because embedded in that relationship is the care and resources the young person needs to rise to the challenge. 


When you are connected and engaged with a young person, when you care about their life and how they’re doing, it’s a compliment to tell them they can perform at a higher level. They know you see potential in them—and they know you will be there to help them unlock it. 


Thanks for being part of The Perna Syndicate this week! Follow me on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for more insights into the mind of today’s young people. We’ll see you back here next week on The Perna Syndicate.


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