One of the interesting observations I’ve made about social hierarchies over the years is how one’s position on a ladder impacts what they are perceived as being capable of. This phenomenon is as common in professional settings as it is any other aspect of life.
I am *not* just referring to perceived ability to accomplish tasks of a 1. It is perfectly reasonable to make presumptions around what someone can do on the basis of their education / background in this respect.technical nature 1, but rather assumptions about basic performance (including follow through, work ethic, and integrity).
I’ve come to realize that the managers / leaders that get the most out of their people (regardless of social class / background) are the ones who treat them all like winners.
As a manager, if you expect high performance out of someone and treat them like a high performer they will often move mountains for you in their efforts 2. Jennifer V. Miller has a great post on the importance of trusting as a leader here. to prove you right. 2
People are more than the sum of their experiences. Ergo, while a person’s cultural legacy *does* impact a fairly wide spectrum of behavior, we also learn from the road ahead as much as we do from the road behind. In this respect we begin everyday anew.
There is no reason that one must finish where they begin.
HR professionals coaching managers (and managers themselves) would do well to remember this lesson.
Tell me if I have it right in the comments section below.
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