Coach's VIEW

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Refresh the Point of View of Your Subordinates toward Themselves

Refresh the Point of View of Your Subordinates toward Themselves
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Have you heard of the Pygmalion effect?

This is theory born in the field of educational psychology. However, you will also sometimes hear about it in the area of management. Briefly, the point of view of an educator toward his or her students affects the academic results of those students.

For example, one group of educators is told the following: "The students you will be responsible for now are a group of geniuses." This is despite the fact the students originally had average scores.

The following is then said to another group of educators: "The students you will be responsible for now are a group of dropouts." Of course, this is despite the fact these students also originally had average scores.

Having done that, the former group of students will achieve results exceeding the average score while the latter group of students will not even reach the average score.

This theory shows that the point of view of educators has a massive impact on the academic results of their students.

There have been no experiments or research on business people to the best of my knowledge. However, the point of view of superiors toward their subordinates surely also has a certain impact on their performance.

The Point of View by Others Is Incorporated by That Person Himself or Herself

I read an article on extremely interesting research results in The New Yorker.

University students were made to read the notes left behind by people who had killed themselves in a study at Stanford University. Half of those notes were real and the other half were adequately created as fake notes.

The task of the students was to identify which notes were real.

After the students made their identifications, the experimenters told one group of students that they had got 24 out of 25 correct. In fact, the experimenters completely ignored the student's correct number of answers.

The other group was told that they had only got one out of 10 correct. This was also done by completely ignoring their correct number of answers.

After that, it was revealed to the students that their correct number of answers as told to them by the experimenters was a lie. The students were then asked how many correct answers they thought they actually had.

Interestingly, the students in the 24 out of 25 group answered that they thought they had done considerably better than the average while the one out of 10 group replied that they thought they had done much worse than the average.

The researchers made the following conclusion.

"Once formed, impressions are remarkably perseverant."

This phrase demonstrates that it is hard to get rid of the point of view toward ourselves that has been formed by the point of view by others.


In a small park on my way to work, many fathers and children practice baseball there every morning.

Among them, there are a father with a youthful and masculine face and a boy who visits there almost every day. The boy is probably in the first grade of elementary school. He has big and round eyes.

The father throws the ball and the child hits it.

The left-hitting child swings the bat using his whole body with utmost effort. The father says the following to his son swinging the bat with large drops of sweat on his forehead. He speaks in a rough tone.

"Hey! That's useless! Hit it properly, idiot!"

It makes my heart ache a little to see this sight every morning.

That negative point of view the father throws at his child will only lead his son to form a negative point of view toward himself.

I go past that park hoping and praying that the son will smash away that point of view without becoming submerged by it.

What Got Rid of Their Negative Points of View From the All Blacks?

The All Blacks are the New Zealand national rugby team.

Their historic winning rate is more than 86%. They can be called the strongest team even when looking at all the other sports in the world.

These All Blacks also had a period of a slump.

They suffered a crushing defeat to South Africa in August 2004. This led to them finishing last in the Tri Nations Series consisting of the three strongest rugby countries in the southern hemisphere.

The All Blacks had lost their confidence; their players were depressed.

The team needed change.

The man who changed the All Blacks at that time was their head coach Graham Henry. What he put into practice was to ask questions to every single player.

He asked them questions because the most important thing was for the players themselves to overcome the negative points of view they had formed about themselves.

"What are the All Blacks?"

"What is the meaning of being a member of the All Blacks?"

"What does it mean to be a New Zealander?"

He didn't seek to persuade them by heatedly saying "the All Blacks are a wonderful team" or "the All Blacks have an amazing history." Instead, he asked them questions.

The following is written in a book that demonstrates the process of this change called Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Life by James Kerr: It is possible to arrive at clear results by severing wrong impressions in a culture of repeatedly asking basic questions.

Graham Henry was successful in getting rid of the negative points of view that the players had formed about themselves by continuing to ask questions.

The All Blacks then went on to win two successive World Cups and set a record of 18 successive victories in test matches (matches between countries).

"Waiho Kia P Tai Ana. He Kaha Ui Te Kaha."

The point of view from the outside is captured and permeates inside as the point of view toward yourself before you know it. This will have an impact on your performance.

How we see ourselves is what has a massive impact on our performance.

The following is true if you have a negative point of view toward yourself.

Even if this negative point of view was formed by others, in the end, you have to overcome it yourself.

What can we do so that your subordinates can overcome this? We should not seek to persuade them by telling them that they are all right. Rather, we may need to continue asking them questions and supporting them so that they themselves can acquire a new point of view toward themselves.

Please try asking questions if you have a subordinate whose performance has dropped due to a negative point of view that he or she have formed about himself or herself.

"What kind of person are you in the first place?"

"What strengths do you have?"

"What are you proud of?"

Believe that your subordinates have the potential to be able to overcome their negative points of view.

The following has been passed down among the Maori - the indigenous people of New Zealand.

"Let the questioning continue; the ability of the person is in asking questions."

"Waiho kia p tai ana. He kaha ui te kaha."

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Language: Japanese

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